Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is an advanced-stage prostate cancer (PC) associated with high mortality. We reported that G-1, a selective agonist of G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30), inhibited PC cell growth by inducing G2 cell cycle arrest and arrested PC-3 xenograft growth. However, the therapeutic actions of G-1 and their relationships with androgen in vivo are unclear. Using the LNCaP xenograft to model PC growth during the androgen-sensitive (AS) versus the castration-resistant (CR) phase, we found that G-1 inhibited growth of CR but not AS tumors with no observable toxicity to the host. Substantial necrosis (approximately 65%) accompanied by marked intratumoral infiltration of neutrophils was observed only in CR tumors. Global transcriptome profiling of human genes identified 99 differentially expressed genes with 'interplay between innate and adaptive immune responses' as the top pathway. Quantitative PCR confirmed upregulation of neutrophil-related chemokines and inflammation-mediated cytokines only in the G-1-treated CR tumors. Expression of murine neutrophil-related cytokines also was elevated in these tumors. GPR30 (GPER1) expression was significantly higher in CR tumors than in AS tumors. In cell-based experiments, androgen repressed GPR30 expression, a response reversible by anti-androgen or siRNA-induced androgen receptor silencing. Finally, in clinical specimens, 80% of CRPC metastases (n=123) expressed a high level of GPR30, whereas only 54% of the primary PCs (n=232) showed high GPR30 expression. Together, these results provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that GPR30 is an androgen-repressed target and G-1 mediates the anti-tumor effect via neutrophil-infiltration-associated necrosis in CRPC. Additional studies are warranted to firmly establish GPR30 as a therapeutic target in CRPC.
SAM-pointed domain-containing ETS transcription factor (SPDEF) is expressed in normal prostate epithelium. While its expression changes during prostate carcinogenesis (PCa), the role of SPDEF in prostate cancer remains controversial due to the lack of genetic mouse models. In present study, we generated transgenic mice with the loss- or gain-of-function of SPDEF in prostate epithelium to demonstrate that SPDEF functions as tumor suppressor in prostate cancer. Loss of SPDEF increased cancer progression and tumor cell proliferation, whereas over-expression of SPDEF in prostate epithelium inhibited carcinogenesis and reduced tumor cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro. Transgenic over-expression of SPDEF inhibited mRNA and protein levels of Foxm1, a transcription factor critical for tumor cell proliferation, and reduced expression of Foxm1 target genes, including Cdc25b, Cyclin B1, Cyclin A2, Plk-1, AuroraB, CKS1 and Topo2alpha. Deletion of SPDEF in transgenic mice and cultures prostate tumor cells increased expression of Foxm1 and its target genes. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between SPDEF and Foxm1 levels was found in human prostate cancers. The two-gene signature of low SPDEF and high FoxM1 predicted poor survival in prostate cancer patients. Mechanistically, SPDEF bound to, and inhibited transcriptional activity of Foxm1 promoter by interfering with the ability of Foxm1 to activate its own promoter through auto-regulatory site located in the -745/-660 bp Foxm1 promoter region. Re-expression of Foxm1 restored cellular proliferation in the SPDEF-positive cancer cells and rescued progression of SPDEF-positive tumors in mouse prostates. Altogether, SPDEF inhibits prostate carcinogenesis by preventing Foxm1-regulated proliferation of prostate tumor cells. The present study identified novel crosstalk between SPDEF tumor suppressor and Foxm1 oncogene and demonstrated that this crosstalk is required for tumor cell proliferation during progression of prostate cancer in vivo.
Serine proteases are critical for epidermal barrier homeostasis, and their aberrant expression and/or activity is associated with chronic skin diseases. Elevated levels of the serine protease inhibitors SERPINB3 and SERPINB4 are seen in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. However, their mechanistic role in the skin is unknown. To evaluate the contribution of Serpinb3a (mouse homolog of SERPINB3 and SERPINB4) in atopic dermatitis, we examined the effect of topical Aspergillus fumigatus extract exposure in wild-type and Serpinb3a-null mice on transepidermal water loss (TEWL), sensitization, and inflammation. Allergen exposure induced Serpinb3a expression in the skin, along with increased TEWL, epidermal thickness, and skin inflammation, all of which were attenuated in the absence of Serpinb3a. Attenuated TEWL correlated with decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory marker S100A8. Silencing of SERPINB3/B4 in human keratinocytes decreased S100A8 expression, supporting a role for SERPINB3/B4 in the initiation of the acute inflammatory response. RNA-seq analysis following allergen exposure identified a network of pro-inflammatory genes induced in wild-type mice that was absent in Serpinb3a-null mice. In conclusion, Serpinb3a deficiency attenuates barrier dysfunction and the early inflammatory response following cutaneous allergen exposure, supporting a role for Serpinb3a (mice) and SERPINB3/B4 (humans) early in atopic dermatitis.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 11 September 2014; (2014) 0, 000-000. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.353.
The ability of chromatin to switch back and forth from open euchromatin to closed heterochromatin is vital for transcriptional regulation and genomic stability, but its dynamic structure is subject to disruption by exposure to environmental agents such as hexavalent chromium. Cr(VI) exposure disrupts chromatin remodeling mechanisms and causes chromosomal damage through formation of free radicals, Cr-DNA adducts, and DNA-Cr-protein cross-links. In addition, acute, high-concentration, and chronic, low-concentration exposures to Cr(VI) lead to significantly different transcriptional and genomic stability outcomes. We used mouse hepatoma Hepa-1c1c7 cells to investigate how transcriptional responses to chromium treatment might correlate with structural chromatin changes. We used Formaldehyde-Assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements (FAIRE) analysis coupled with deep sequencing to identify regions of the genome that may switch between open and closed chromatin in response to exposure to varying Cr(VI) concentrations. At either Cr(VI) concentration, chromatin domains surrounding binding sites for AP-1 transcription factors become significantly open, whereas BACH2 and CTCF binding sites are open solely at the low and high concentrations, respectively. Parallel gene expression profiling using RNA-seq indicates that the structural chromatin changes caused by Cr(VI) affect gene expression levels in the target areas that vary depending on Cr(VI) concentration, but show no correlation between global changes in the overall transcriptional response and Cr(VI) concentration. Our results suggest that FAIRE may be a useful technique to map chromatin elements targeted by DNA damaging agents for which there is no prior knowledge of their specificity, and to identify subsequent transcriptomic changes induced by those agents.
Closure of an epithelium opening is a critical morphogenetic event for development. An excellent example for this process is the transient closure of embryonic eyelid. Eyelid closure requires shape change and migration of epithelial cells at the tip of the developing eyelids, and is dictated by numerous signaling pathways. Here we evaluated gene expression in epithelial cells isolated from the tip (leading edge, LE) and inner surface epithelium (IE) of the eyelid from E15.5 mouse fetuses by laser capture microdissection (LCM). We showed that the LE and IE cells are different at E15.5, such that IE had higher expression of muscle specific genes, while LE acquired epithelium identities. Despite their distinct destinies, these cells were overall similar in expression of signaling components for the "eyelid closure pathways". However, while the LE cells had more abundant expression of Fgfr2, Erbb2, Shh, Ptch1 and 2, Smo and Gli2, and Jag1 and Notch1, the IE cells had more abundant expression of Bmp5 and Bmpr1a. In addition, the LE cells had more abundant expression of adenomatosis polyposis coli down-regulated 1 (Apcdd1), but the IE cells had high expression of Dkk2. Our results suggest that the functionally distinct LE and IE cells have also differential expression of signaling molecules that may contribute to the cell-specific responses to morphogenetic signals. The expression pattern suggests that the EGF, Shh and NOTCH pathways are preferentially active in LE cells, the BMP pathways are effective in IE cells, and the Wnt pathway may be repressed in LE and IE cells via different mechanisms.
Pulmonary fibrosis is often triggered by an epithelial injury resulting in the formation of fibrotic lesions in the lung, which progress to impair gas exchange and ultimately cause death. Recent clinical trials using drugs that target either inflammation or a specific molecule have failed, suggesting that multiple pathways and cellular processes need to be attenuated for effective reversal of established and progressive fibrosis. Although activation of MAPK and PI3K pathways have been detected in human fibrotic lung samples, the therapeutic benefits of in vivo modulation of the MAPK and PI3K pathways in combination are unknown. Overexpression of TGF? in the lung epithelium of transgenic mice results in the formation of fibrotic lesions similar to those found in human pulmonary fibrosis, and previous work from our group shows that inhibitors of either the MAPK or PI3K pathway can alter the progression of fibrosis. In this study, we sought to determine whether simultaneous inhibition of the MAPK and PI3K signaling pathways is a more effective therapeutic strategy for established and progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Our results showed that inhibiting both pathways had additive effects compared to inhibiting either pathway alone in reducing fibrotic burden, including reducing lung weight, pleural thickness, and total collagen in the lungs of TGF? mice. This study demonstrates that inhibiting MEK and PI3K in combination abolishes proliferative changes associated with fibrosis and myfibroblast accumulation and thus may serve as a therapeutic option in the treatment of human fibrotic lung disease where these pathways play a role.
Levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, are increased in lung, sputum, exhaled breath condensate and plasma samples from asthma patients. ADMA is metabolized primarily by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 (DDAH1) and DDAH2. We determined the effect of DDAH1 overexpression on development of allergic inflammation in a mouse model of asthma. The expression of DDAH1 and DDAH2 in mouse lungs was determined by RT-quantitative PCR (qPCR). ADMA levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum samples were determined by mass spectrometry. Wild type and DDAH1-transgenic mice were intratracheally challenged with PBS or house dust mite (HDM). Airway inflammation was assessed by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) total and differential cell counts. The levels of IgE and IgG1 in BALF and serum samples were determined by ELISA. Gene expression in lungs was determined by RNA-Seq and RT-qPCR. Our data showed that the expression of DDAH1 and DDAH2 was decreased in the lungs of mice following HDM exposure, which correlated with increased ADMA levels in BALF and serum. Transgenic overexpression of DDAH1 resulted in decreased BAL total cell and eosinophil numbers following HDM exposure. Total IgE levels in BALF and serum were decreased in HDM-exposed DDAH1-transgenic mice compared to HDM-exposed wild type mice. RNA-Seq results showed downregulation of genes in the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) signaling pathway in PBS-treated DDAH1-transgenic mice versus PBS-treated wild type mice and downregulation of genes in IL-13/FOXA2 signaling pathway in HDM-treated DDAH1-transgenic mice versus HDM-treated wild type mice. Our findings suggest that decreased expression of DDAH1 and DDAH2 in the lungs may contribute to allergic asthma and overexpression of DDAH1 attenuates allergen-induced airway inflammation through modulation of Th2 responses.
Although biological effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are often observed at unexpectedly low doses with occasional nonmonotonic dose-response characteristics, transcriptome-wide profiles of sensitivities or dose-dependent behaviors of the EDC responsive genes have remained unexplored. Here, we describe expressome analysis for the comprehensive examination of dose-dependent gene responses and its applications to characterize estrogen responsive genes in MCF-7 cells. Transcriptomes of MCF-7 cells exposed to varying concentrations of representative natural and xenobiotic estrogens for 48 h were determined by microarray and used for computational calculation of interpolated approximations of estimated transcriptomes for 300 doses uniformly distributed in log space for each chemical. The entire collection of these estimated transcriptomes, designated as the expressome, has provided unique opportunities to profile chemical-specific distributions of ligand sensitivities for large numbers of estrogen responsive genes, revealing that at low concentrations estrogens generally tended to suppress rather than to activate transcription. Gene ontology analysis demonstrated distinct functional enrichment between high- and low-sensitivity estrogen responsive genes, supporting the notion that a single EDC chemical can cause qualitatively distinct biological responses at different doses. Expressomal heatmap visualization of dose-dependent induction of Bisphenol A inducible genes showed a weak gene activation peak at a very low concentration range (ca. 0.1 nM) in addition to the main, strong gene activation peak at and above 100 nM. Thus, expressome analysis is a powerful approach to understanding the EDC dose-dependent dynamic changes in gene expression at the transcriptomal level, providing important information on the overall profiles of ligand sensitivities and nonmonotonic responses.
Identifying transcription factors (TF) involved in producing a genome-wide transcriptional profile is an essential step in building mechanistic model that can explain observed gene expression data. We developed a statistical framework for constructing genome-wide signatures of TF activity, and for using such signatures in the analysis of gene expression data produced by complex transcriptional regulatory programs. Our framework integrates ChIP-seq data and appropriately matched gene expression profiles to identify True REGulatory (TREG) TF-gene interactions. It provides genome-wide quantification of the likelihood of regulatory TF-gene interaction that can be used to either identify regulated genes, or as genome-wide signature of TF activity. To effectively use ChIP-seq data, we introduce a novel statistical model that integrates information from all binding "peaks" within 2 Mb window around a genes transcription start site (TSS), and provides gene-level binding scores and probabilities of regulatory interaction. In the second step we integrate these binding scores and regulatory probabilities with gene expression data to assess the likelihood of True REGulatory (TREG) TF-gene interactions. We demonstrate the advantages of TREG framework in identifying genes regulated by two TFs with widely different distribution of functional binding events (ER? and E2f1). We also show that TREG signatures of TF activity vastly improve our ability to detect involvement of ER? in producing complex diseases-related transcriptional profiles. Through a large study of disease-related transcriptional signatures and transcriptional signatures of drug activity, we demonstrate that increase in statistical power associated with the use of TREG signatures makes the crucial difference in identifying key targets for treatment, and drugs to use for treatment. All methods are implemented in an open-source R package treg. The package also contains all data used in the analysis including 494 TREG binding profiles based on ENCODE ChIP-seq data. The treg package can be downloaded at http://GenomicsPortals.org.
Living organisms are exposed on a daily basis to widespread mixtures of toxic compounds. Mixtures pose a major problem in the assessment of health effects because they often generate substance-specific effects that cannot be attributed to a single mechanism. Two compounds often found together in the environment are the heavy metal chromium and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). We have examined how long-term exposure to a low concentration of Cr(VI) affects the transcriptional response to B[a]P, a second toxicant with an unrelated mechanism of action. Growth of mouse hepatoma cells for 20 passages in medium with 0.1 or 0.5?M Cr(VI) increases DNA damage and apoptosis while decreasing clonogenic ability. Treated cells also show transcriptome changes indicative of increased expression of DNA damage response and repair genes. In them, B[a]P activates cancer progression pathways, unlike in cells never exposed to Cr(VI), where B[a]P activates mostly xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Cells grown in Cr(VI) for 20 passages and then cultured for an additional 5 passages in the absence of Cr(VI) recover from some but not all the chromium effects. They show B[a]P-dependent transcriptome changes strongly weighted toward xenobiotic metabolism, similar to those in B[a]P-treated cells that had no previous Cr(VI) exposure, but retain a high level of Cr(VI)-induced DNA damage and silence the expression of DNA damage and cancer progression genes. We conclude that the combined effect of these two toxicants appears to be neither synergistic nor additive, generating a toxic/adaptive condition that cannot be predicted from the effect of each toxicant alone.
Background: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates the expression of xenobiotic detoxification genes and is a critical mediator of gene-environment interactions. Many AHR target genes identified by genome-wide gene expression profiling have morphogenetic functions, suggesting that AHR may play a role in embryonic development.Objectives: To characterize the developmental functions of the AHR, we studied the consequences of AHR activation by the agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-doxin (TCDD), and the result of its repression by the antagonists 6,2,4-trimethoxyflavone and CH 223191 or by short-hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated Ahr knockdown during spontaneous differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells into cardiomyocytes.Methods: We generated an AHR-positive cardiomyocyte lineage differentiated from mouse ES cells that expresses puromycin resistance and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of the Cyp1a1 (cytochrome P450 1a1) promoter. We used RNA sequencing (RNA.Seq) to analyze temporal trajectories of TCDD-dependent global gene expression in these cells during differentiation.Results: Activation, inhibition, and knockdown of Ahr significantly inhibited the formation of contractile cardiomyocyte nodes. Global expression analysis of AHR-positive cells showed that activation of the AHR/TCDD axis disrupted the concerted expression of genes that regulate multiple signaling pathways involved in cardiac and neural morphogenesis and differentiation, including dozens of genes encoding homeobox transcription factors and Polycomb and trithorax group proteins.Conclusions: Disruption of AHR expression levels resulted in gene expression changes that perturbed cardiomyocyte differentiation. The main function of the AHR during development appears to be the coordination of a complex regulatory network responsible for attainment and maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis.Citation: Wang Q, Chen J, Ko CI, Fan Y, Carreira V, Chen Y, Xia Y, Medvedovic M, Puga A. 2013. Disruption of aryl hydrocarbon receptor homeostatic levels during embryonic stem cell differentiation alters expression of homeobox transcription factors that control cardiomyogenesis. Environ Health Perspect 121:1334-1343;?http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307297.
Studies showing reduced PKC? expression or enzymatic activity in different types of human cancers support the clinical relevance of PKC? as a tumor suppressor. However, the in vivo role of PKC? and its mechanisms of action in prostate cancer remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that the genetic inactivation of PKC? in mice results in invasive prostate carcinoma in vivo in the context of phosphatase and tensin homolog deficiency. Bioinformatic analysis of human prostate cancer gene-expression sets revealed increased c-Myc transcriptional activity in PKC?-inactive cells, which correlated with increased cell growth, invasion, and metastasis. Interestingly, PKC? knockdown or the overexpression of a kinase-inactive mutant resulted in enhanced cell proliferation and invasion in vitro through increased c-Myc mRNA and protein levels and decreased Ser-373 phosphorylation of c-Myc. Analysis of prostate cancer samples demonstrated increased expression and decreased phosphorylation of c-Myc at Ser-373 in PKC? knockout tumors. In vivo xenograft studies revealed that c-Myc phosphorylation by PKC? is a critical event in the control of metastasis. Collectively, these results establish PKC? as an important tumor suppressor and regulator of c-Myc function in prostate cancer.
Tumor cells have high-energetic and anabolic needs and are known to adapt their metabolism to be able to survive and keep proliferating under conditions of nutrient stress. We show that PKC? deficiency promotes the plasticity necessary for cancer cells to reprogram their metabolism to utilize glutamine through the serine biosynthetic pathway in the absence of glucose. PKC? represses the expression of two key enzymes of the pathway, PHGDH and PSAT1, and phosphorylates PHGDH at key residues to inhibit its enzymatic activity. Interestingly, the loss of PKC? in mice results in enhanced intestinal tumorigenesis and increased levels of these two metabolic enzymes, whereas patients with low levels of PKC? have a poor prognosis. Furthermore, PKC? and caspase-3 activities are correlated with PHGDH levels in human intestinal tumors. Taken together, this demonstrates that PKC? is a critical metabolic tumor suppressor in mouse and human cancer.
Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL) is lost in the majority of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC). Folliculin (FLCN) is a tumor suppressor whose function is lost in Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD), a disorder characterized by renal cancer of multiple histological types including clear cell carcinoma, cutaneous fibrofolliculoma, and pneumothorax. Here we explored whether there is connection between VHL and FLCN in clear cell renal carcinoma cell lines and tumors. We demonstrate that VHL regulates expression of FLCN at the mRNA and protein levels in RCC cell lines, and that FLCN protein expression is decreased in human ccRCC tumors with VHL loss, as compared with matched normal kidney tissue. Knockdown of FLCN results in increased formation of tumors by RCC cells with wild-type VHL in orthotopic xenografts in nude mice, an indication that FLCN plays a role in the tumor-suppressing activity of VHL. Interestingly, FLCN, similarly to VHL, is necessary for the activity of LC3C-mediated autophagic program that we have previously characterized as contributing to the tumor suppressing activity of VHL. The results show the existence of functional crosstalk between two major tumor suppressors in renal cancer, VHL and FLCN, converging on regulation of autophagy.
Nutritional interventions are important alternatives for reducing the prevalence of many chronic diseases. Soy is a good source of protein that contains isoflavones, including genistein and daidzein, and may alter the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive cancers. We have shown previously in nonhuman primates that soy protein containing isoflavones leads to improved body weight, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and atherosclerosis compared to protein without soy isoflavones (casein), and does not increase the risk of cancer. Since genistein has been shown to alter DNA methylation, we compared the methylation profiles of cynomolgus monkeys, from multiple tissues, eating two high-fat, typical American diets (TAD) with similar macronutrient contents, with or without soy protein. DNA methylation status was successfully determined for 80.6% of the probes in at least one tissue using Illuminas HumanMethylation27 BeadChip. Overall methylation increased in liver and muscle tissue when monkeys switched from the TAD-soy to the TAD-casein diets. Genes involved in epigenetic processes, specifically homeobox genes (HOXA5, HOXA11, and HOXB1), and ABCG5 were among those that changed between diets. These data support the use of the HumanMethylation27 BeadChip in cynomolgus monkeys and identify epigenetic changes associated with dietary interventions with soy protein that may potentially affect the etiology of complex diseases.
This investigation sought to better understand the metabolic role of the lung and to generate insights into the pathogenesis of acrolein-induced acute lung injury. A respiratory irritant, acrolein is generated by overheating cooking oils or by domestic cooking using biomass fuels, and is in environmental tobacco smoke, a health hazard in the restaurant workplace.
Cluster analysis methods have been extensively researched, but the adoption of new methods is often hindered by technical barriers in their implementation and use. WebGimm is a free cluster analysis web-service, and an open source general purpose clustering web-server infrastructure designed to facilitate easy deployment of integrated cluster analysis servers based on clustering and functional annotation algorithms implemented in R. Integrated functional analyses and interactive browsing of both, clustering structure and functional annotations provides a complete analytical environment for cluster analysis and interpretation of results. The Java Web Start client-based interface is modeled after the familiar cluster/treeview packages making its use intuitive to a wide array of biomedical researchers. For biomedical researchers, WebGimm provides an avenue to access state of the art clustering procedures. For Bioinformatics methods developers, WebGimm offers a convenient avenue to deploy their newly developed clustering methods. WebGimm server, software and manuals can be freely accessed at http://ClusterAnalysis.org/.
The transcription factor Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-?B) has been shown to be cardioprotective after permanent coronary occlusion (PO) and late ischemic preconditioning (IPC), and yet it is cell injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in the heart. There is limited information regarding NF-?B-dependent cardioprotection, and the NF-?B-dependent genes that contribute to the cardioprotection after PO are completely unknown. The objective of the study was to identify NF-?B-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection after PO. Microarray analysis was used to delineate genes that potentially contribute to the NF-?B-dependent cardioprotection by determining the overlap between the set of PO regulated genes and genes regulated by NF-?B, using mice with genetic abrogation of NF-?B activation in the heart. This analysis identified 16 genes as candidates for NF-?B-dependent effects after PO. This set of genes overlaps with, but is significantly different from the set of genes we previously identified as regulated by NF-?B after IPC. The genes encoding heat shock protein 70.3 (hspa1a) and heat shock protein 70.1 (hspa1b) were the most significantly regulated genes after PO and were up-regulated by NF-?B. Results using knockout mice show that Hsp70.1 contributes to NF-?B-dependent cardioprotection after PO and likely underlies, at least in part, the NF-??-dependent cardioprotective effect. Our previous results show that Hsp70.1 is injurious after I/R injury. This demonstrates that, like NF-?B itself, Hsp70.1 has antithetical effects on myocardial survival and suggests that this may underlie the similar antithetical effects of NF-?B after different ischemic stimuli. The significance of the research is that understanding the gene network regulated by NF-?B after ischemic insult may lead to identification of therapeutic targets more appropriate for clinical development.
The mechanisms for provisioning maternal resources to offspring in placental mammals involve complex interactions between maternally regulated and fetally regulated gene networks in the placenta, a tissue that is derived from the zygote and therefore of fetal origin. Here we describe a novel use of an embryo transfer system in mice to identify gene networks in the placenta that are regulated by the mother. Mouse embryos from the same strain of inbred mice were transferred into a surrogate mother either of the same strain or from a different strain, allowing maternal and fetal effects on the placenta to be separated. After correction for sex and litter size, maternal strain overrode fetal strain as the key determinant of fetal weight (P < 0.0001). Computational filtering of the placental transcriptome revealed a group of 81 genes whose expression was solely dependent on the maternal strain [P < 0.05, false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.10]. Network analysis of this group of genes yielded highest statistical significance for pathways involved in the regulation of cell growth (such as insulin-like growth factors) as well as those involved in regulating lipid metabolism [such as the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1), LDL, and HDL], both of which are known to play a role in fetal development. This novel technique may be generally applied to identify regulatory networks involved in maternal-fetal interaction and eventually help identify molecular targets in disorders of fetal growth.
Functional enrichment analysis using primary genomics datasets is an emerging approach to complement established methods for functional enrichment based on predefined lists of functionally related genes. Currently used methods depend on creating lists of significant and non-significant genes based on ad hoc significance cutoffs. This can lead to loss of statistical power and can introduce biases affecting the interpretation of experimental results.
Cotreatment with testosterone (T) and 17?-estradiol (E2) is an established regimen for inducing of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and prostate cancer in rodent models. We previously used the pure antiestrogen ICI 182,780 (ICI) and bromocriptine, a dopamine receptor agonist, to inhibit PIN induction and systemic hyperprolactinemia in Noble rats and found that the carcinogenic action of T+E2 is mediated directly by the effects of E2 on the prostate and/or indirectly via E2-induced hyperprolactinemia. In this study, we delineate the specific action(s) of E2 and prolactin (PRL) in early prostate carcinogenesis by an integrated approach combining global transcription profiling, gene ontology, and gene-network mapping. We identified 2504 differentially expressed genes in the T+E2-treated lateral prostate. The changes in expression of a subset of 1990 genes (?80%) were blocked upon cotreatment with ICI and bromocriptine, respectively, whereas those of 262 genes (?10%) were blocked only by treatment with ICI, suggesting that E2-induced pituitary PRL is the primary mediator of the prostatic transcriptional response to the altered hormone milieu. Bioinformatics analyses identified hormone-responsive gene networks involved in immune responses, stromal tissue remodeling, and the ERK pathway. In particular, our data suggest that IL-1? may mediate, at least in part, hormone-induced changes in gene expression during PIN formation. Together, these data highlight the importance of pituitary PRL in estrogen-induced prostate tumorigenesis. The identification of both E2- and pituitary PRL-responsive genes provides a comprehensive resource for future investigations of the complex mechanisms by which changes in the endocrine milieu contribute to prostate carcinogenesis in vivo.
MicroRNAs (miRs) participate in many cardiac pathophysiological processes, including ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cardiac injury. Recently, we and others observed that miR-494 was downregulated in murine I/R-injured and human infarcted hearts. However, the functional consequence of miR-494 in response to I/R remains unknown.
Acute lung injury can be induced indirectly (e.g., sepsis) or directly (e.g., chlorine inhalation). Because treatment is still limited to supportive measures, mortality remains high ( approximately 74,500 deaths/yr). In the past, accidental (railroad derailments) and intentional (Iraq terrorism) chlorine exposures have led to deaths and hospitalizations from acute lung injury. To better understand the molecular events controlling chlorine-induced acute lung injury, we have developed a functional genomics approach using inbred mice strains. Various mouse strains were exposed to chlorine (45 ppm x 24 h) and survival was monitored. The most divergent strains varied by more than threefold in mean survival time, supporting the likelihood of an underlying genetic basis of susceptibility. These divergent strains are excellent models for additional genetic analysis to identify critical candidate genes controlling chlorine-induced acute lung injury. Gene-targeted mice then could be used to test the functional significance of susceptibility candidate genes, which could be valuable in revealing novel insights into the biology of acute lung injury.
Differential co-expression analysis is an emerging strategy for characterizing disease related dysregulation of gene expression regulatory networks. Given pre-defined sets of biological samples, such analysis aims at identifying genes that are co-expressed in one, but not in the other set of samples.
It has been shown that the transcription factor NF-kappaB is necessary for late phase cardioprotection after ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in the heart, and yet is injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). However the downstream gene expression programs that underlie the contribution of NF-kappaB to cardioprotection after late IPC are incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to delineate the specific genes that are regulated by NF-kappaB immediately after a late IPC stimulus and validate the methodology for the identification of NF-kappaB-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection. A directed microarray analysis identified 238 genes as up or downregulated in an NF-kappaB-dependent manner 3.5h after late IPC. Among these are several genes previously implicated in late IPC. Gene ontological analysis showed that the most significant group of NF-kappaB-dependent genes are heat shock response genes, including the genes encoding Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3. Though an Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout failed to exhibit cardioprotection, late IPC was intact in the Hsp70.1 single knockout. After I/R, the Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout and the Hsp70.1 single knockout had significantly increased and reduced infarct size, respectively. These results delineate the immediate NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptome after late IPC. One of the major categories of NF-kappaB-dependent genes induced by late IPC is the heat shock response. The results of infarct studies confirm that Hsp70.3 is protective after IPC. However, though Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3 are coordinately regulated, their functions are opposing after I/R injury.
A large amount of experimental data generated by modern high-throughput technologies is available through various public repositories. Our knowledge about molecular interaction networks, functional biological pathways and transcriptional regulatory modules is rapidly expanding, and is being organized in lists of functionally related genes. Jointly, these two sources of information hold a tremendous potential for gaining new insights into functioning of living systems.
Exposure to acrolein in the ambient air in urban environments represents a considerable hazard to human health. Acrolein exposure causes airway inflammation, accumulation of monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes in the interstitium, mucous-cell metaplasia, and airspace enlargement. Currently, the mechanisms that control these events are unclear, and the relative contribution of T-cell subpopulations to pulmonary pathology after exposure to air toxics is unknown. In this study, we used a mouse model of pulmonary pathology induced by repeated acrolein exposure to examine whether pulmonary lymphocyte subpopulations differentially regulate inflammatory-cell accumulation and epithelial-cell pathology. To examine the role of the lymphocyte subpopulations, we used transgenic mice genetically deficient in either alphabeta T cells or gammadelta T cells and measured changes in several cellular, molecular, and pathologic outcomes associated with repeated inhalation exposure to 2.0 ppm or 0.5 ppm acrolein. To examine the potential functions of the lymphocyte subpopulations, we purified these cells from lung tissue of mice repeatedly exposed to 2.0 ppm acrolein, isolated and amplified the messenger RNA (mRNA*) transcripts, and performed oligonucleotide microarray analysis. Our data demonstrate that alphabeta T cells are primarily responsible for the accumulation of macrophages after acrolein exposure, whereas gammadelta T cells are the primary regulators of epithelial-cell homeostasis after repeated acrolein exposure. These findings are supported by the results of microarray analyses indicating that the two T-cell subpopulations have distinct gene-expression profiles after acrolein exposure. These data provide strong evidence that the T-cell subpopulations in the lung are major determinants of the response to pulmonary toxicant exposure and suggest that it is advantageous to elucidate the effector functions of these cells in the modulation of lung pathophysiology.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants, with about half being infected in their first year of life. Yet only 2 to 3% of infants are hospitalized for RSV infection, suggesting that individual susceptibility contributes to disease severity. Previously, we determined that AKR/J (susceptible) mice developed high lung RSV titers and showed delayed weight recovery, whereas C57BL/6J (resistant) mice demonstrated low lung RSV titers and rapid weight recovery. In addition, we have reported that gene-targeted mice lacking the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (Cftr; ATP-binding cassette subfamily C, member 7) are susceptible to RSV infection. For this report, recombinant backcross and F2 progeny derived from C57BL/6J and AKR/J mice were infected with RSV, their lung titers were measured, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was performed. A major QTL, designated Rsvs1, was identified on proximal mouse chromosome 6 in both recombinant populations. Microarray analysis comparing lung transcripts of the parental strains during infection identified several candidate genes that mapped to the Rsvs1 interval, including Cftr. These findings add to our understanding of individual RSV susceptibility and strongly support a modifier role for CFTR in RSV infection, a significant cause of respiratory morbidity in infants with cystic fibrosis.
Chromosomal rearrangements in human cancers are of two types, interchromosomal, which are rearrangements that involve exchange between loci located on different chromosomes, and intrachromosomal, which are rearrangements that involve loci located on the same chromosome. The type of rearrangement that typically activates a specific oncogene may be influenced by its nuclear location and that of its partner. In interphase nuclei, each chromosome occupies a distinct three-dimensional (3D) territory that tends to not overlap the territories of other chromosomes. It is also known that after double strand breaks in the genome, mobility of free DNA ends is limited. These considerations suggest that loci located deep within a chromosomal territory might not participate in interchromosomal rearrangements as readily as in intrachromosomal rearrangements. To test this hypothesis, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization with 3D high-resolution confocal microscopy to analyze the positions of six oncogenes known to be activated by recombination in human cancer cells. We found that loci involved in interchromosomal rearrangements were located closer to the periphery of chromosome territories as compared with the loci that were involved in intrachromosomal inversions. The results of this study provide evidence suggesting that nuclear architecture and location of specific genetic loci within chromosome territories may influence their participation in intrachromosomal or interchromosomal rearrangements in human thyroid cells.
The vertebrate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates cellular responses to environmental polycyclic and halogenated compounds. The naive receptor is believed to reside in an inactive cytosolic complex that translocates to the nucleus and induces transcription of xenobiotic detoxification genes after activation by ligand.
The elucidation of biological pathways enriched with differentially expressed genes has become an integral part of the analysis and interpretation of microarray data. Several statistical methods are commonly used in this context, but the question of the optimal approach has still not been resolved.
No studies have tested the hypothesis that the onset of a disease can be predicted by gene expression profiling. The AKR/J mouse strain, which spontaneously develops acute T cell lymphatic leukemia, was used to implement a novel strategy to generate global gene expression profiles of WBCs at different time points. The experimental approach was bias free because it was unknown as to which individuals in the mouse population would eventually develop the disease. Our results suggest that profiling WBC gene expression may be an effective means for the very early diagnosis of disease in humans.
Integration of biological knowledge encoded in various lists of functionally related genes has become one of the most important aspects of analyzing genome-wide functional genomics data. In the context of cluster analysis, functional coherence of clusters established through such analyses have been used to identify biologically meaningful clusters, compare clustering algorithms and identify biological pathways associated with the biological process under investigation.
Alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase (AMACR) regulates peroxisomal beta-oxidation of phytol-derived, branched-chain fatty acids from red meat and dairy products -- suspected risk factors for colon carcinoma (CCa). AMACR was first found overexpressed in prostate cancer but not in benign glands and is now an established diagnostic marker for prostate cancer. Aberrant expression of AMACR was recently reported in Cca; however, little is known about how this gene is abnormally activated in cancer. By using a panel of immunostained-laser-capture-microdissected clinical samples comprising the entire colon adenoma-carcinoma sequence, we show that deregulation of AMACR during colon carcinogenesis involves two nonrandom events, resulting in the mutually exclusive existence of double-deletion at CG3 and CG10 and deletion of CG12-16 in a newly identified CpG island within the core promoter of AMACR. The double-deletion at CG3 and CG10 was found to be a somatic lesion. It existed in histologically normal colonic glands and tubular adenomas with low AMACR expression and was absent in villous adenomas and all CCas expressing variable levels of AMACR. In contrast, deletion of CG12-16 was shown to be a constitutional allele with a frequency of 43% in a general population. Its prevalence reached 89% in moderately differentiated CCas strongly expressing AMACR but only existed at 14% in poorly differentiated CCas expressing little or no AMACR. The DNA sequences housing these deletions were found to be putative cis-regulatory elements for Sp1 at CG3 and CG10, and ZNF202 at CG12-16. Chromatin immunoprecipitation, siRNA knockdown, gel shift assay, ectopic expression, and promoter analyses supported the regulation by Sp1 and ZNF202 of AMACR gene expression in an opposite manner. Our findings identified key in vivo events and novel transcription factors responsible for AMACR regulation in CCas and suggested these AMACR deletions may have diagnostic/prognostic value for colon carcinogenesis.
The etiology of acute lung injury is complex and associated with numerous, chemically diverse precipitating factors. During acute lung injury in mice, one key event is epithelial cell injury that leads to reduced surfactant biosynthesis. We have previously reported that transgenic mice that express transforming growth factor alpha (TGFA) in the lung were protected during nickel-induced lung injury. Here, we find that the mechanism by which TGFA imparts protection includes maintenance of surfactant-associated protein B (SFTPB) transcript levels and epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent signaling in distal pulmonary epithelial cells. This protection is complex and not accompanied by a diminution in inflammatory mediator transcripts or additional stimulation of antioxidant transcripts. In mouse lung epithelial (MLE-15) cells, microarray analysis demonstrated that nickel increased transcripts of genes enriched in MTF1, E2F-1, and AP-2 transcription factor-binding sites and decreased transcripts of genes enriched in AP-1-binding sites. Nickel also increased Jun transcript and DNA-binding activity, but decreased SFTPB transcript. Expression of SFTPB under the control of a doxycycline-sensitive promoter increased survival during nickel-induced injury as compared with control mice. Together, these findings support the idea that maintenance of SFTPB expression is critical to survival during acute lung injury.
Embryonic eyelid closure involves forward movement and ultimate fusion of the upper and lower eyelids, an essential step of mammalian ocular surface development. Although its underlying mechanism of action is not fully understood, a functional mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1 (MAP3K1) is required for eyelid closure. Here we investigate the molecular signatures of MAP3K1 in eyelid morphogenesis. At mouse gestational day E15.5, the developmental stage immediately prior to eyelid closure, MAP3K1 expression is predominant in the eyelid leading edge (LE) and the inner eyelid (IE) epithelium. We used laser capture microdissection (LCM) to obtain highly enriched LE and IE cells from wild type and MAP3K1-deficient fetuses and analyzed genome-wide expression profiles. The gene expression data led to the identification of three distinct developmental features of MAP3K1. First, MAP3K1 modulated Wnt and Sonic hedgehog signals, actin reorganization, and proliferation only in LE but not in IE epithelium, illustrating the temporal-spatial specificity of MAP3K1 in embryogenesis. Second, MAP3K1 potentiated AP-2? expression and SRF and AP-1 activity, but its target genes were enriched for binding motifs of AP-2? and SRF, and not AP-1, suggesting the existence of novel MAP3K1-AP-2?/SRF modules in gene regulation. Third, MAP3K1 displayed variable effects on expression of lineage specific genes in the LE and IE epithelium, revealing potential roles of MAP3K1 in differentiation and lineage specification. Using LCM and expression array, our studies have uncovered novel molecular signatures of MAP3K1 in embryonic eyelid closure.
A peptide designed to induce apoptosis of endothelium in white adipose tissue (WAT) decreases adiposity. The goal of this work is to determine whether targeting of WAT endothelium results in impaired glucose regulation as a result of impaired WAT function. Glucose tolerance tests were performed on days 2 and 3 of treatment with vehicle (HF-V) or proapoptotic peptide (HF-PP) and mice pair-fed to HF-PP (HF-PF) in obese mice on a high-fat diet (HFD). Serum metabolic variables, including lipid profile, adipokines, individual fatty acids, and acylcarnitines, were measured. Microarray analysis was performed in epididymal fat of lean or obese mice treated with vehicle or proapoptotic peptide (PP). PP rapidly and potently improved glucose tolerance of obese mice in a weight- and food intake-independent manner. Serum insulin and triglycerides were decreased in HF-PP relative to HF-V. Levels of fatty acids and acylcarnitines were distinctive in HF-PP compared with HF-V or HF-PF. Microarray analysis in AT revealed that pathways involved in mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative phosphorylation, and branched-chain amino acid degradation were changed by exposure to HFD and were reversed by PP administration. These studies suggest a novel role of the AT vasculature in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism.
The genetic basis for the underlying individual susceptibility to chlorine-induced acute lung injury is unknown. To uncover the genetic basis and pathophysiological processes that could provide additional homeostatic capacities during lung injury, 40 inbred murine strains were exposed to chlorine, and haplotype association mapping was performed. The identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations were evaluated through transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. Using ? 10% allelic frequency and ? 10% phenotype explained as threshold criteria, promoter SNPs that could eliminate putative transcriptional factor recognition sites in candidate genes were assessed by determining transcript levels through microarray and reverse real-time PCR during chlorine exposure. The mean survival time varied by approximately 5-fold among strains, and SNP associations were identified for 13 candidate genes on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 9, and 15. Microarrays revealed several differentially enriched pathways, including protein transport (decreased more in the sensitive C57BLKS/J lung) and protein catabolic process (increased more in the resistant C57BL/10J lung). Lung metabolomic profiling revealed 95 of the 280 metabolites measured were altered by chlorine exposure, and included alanine, which decreased more in the C57BLKS/J than in the C57BL/10J strain, and glutamine, which increased more in the C57BL/10J than in the C57BLKS/J strain. Genetic associations from haplotype mapping were strengthened by an integrated assessment using transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. The leading candidate genes associated with increased susceptibility to acute lung injury in mice included Klf4, Sema7a, Tns1, Aacs, and a gene that encodes an amino acid carrier, Slc38a4.
While a wealth of data has uncovered distinct microRNA (miR) expression alterations in hypertrophic and ischaemic/reperfused (I/R) hearts, little is known about miR regulation and response to ischaemic preconditioning (IPC).
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