Oncogenic transcription factors such as RUNX1/ETO, which is generated by the chromosomal translocation t(8;21), subvert normal blood cell development by impairing differentiation and driving malignant self-renewal. Here, we use digital footprinting and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify the core RUNX1/ETO-responsive transcriptional network of t(8;21) cells. We show that the transcriptional program underlying leukemic propagation is regulated by a dynamic equilibrium between RUNX1/ETO and RUNX1 complexes, which bind to identical DNA sites in a mutually exclusive fashion. Perturbation of this equilibrium in t(8;21) cells by RUNX1/ETO depletion leads to a global redistribution of transcription factor complexes within preexisting open chromatin, resulting in the formation of a transcriptional network that drives myeloid differentiation. Our work demonstrates on a genome-wide level that the extent of impaired myeloid differentiation in t(8;21) is controlled by the dynamic balance between RUNX1/ETO and RUNX1 activities through the repression of transcription factors that drive differentiation.
Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma represent the two most common primary bone tumours in childhood and adolescence, with bone metastases being the most adverse prognostic factor. In prostate cancer, osseous metastasis poses a major clinical challenge. We developed a preclinical orthotopic model of Ewing sarcoma, reflecting the biology of the tumour-bone interactions in human disease and allowing in vivo monitoring of disease progression, and compared this with models of osteosarcoma and prostate carcinoma. Human tumour cell lines were transplanted into non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NSG) and Rag2(-/-/)?c(-/-) mice by intrafemoral injection. For Ewing sarcoma, minimal cell numbers (1000-5000) injected in small volumes were able to induce orthotopic tumour growth. Tumour progression was studied using positron emission tomography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and bioluminescent imaging. Tumours and their interactions with bones were examined by histology. Each tumour induced bone destruction and outgrowth of extramedullary tumour masses, together with characteristic changes in bone that were well visualised by computed tomography, which correlated with post-mortem histology. Ewing sarcoma and, to a lesser extent, osteosarcoma cells induced prominent reactive new bone formation. Osteosarcoma cells produced osteoid and mineralised "malignant" bone within the tumour mass itself. Injection of prostate carcinoma cells led to osteoclast-driven osteolytic lesions. Bioluminescent imaging of Ewing sarcoma xenografts allowed easy and rapid monitoring of tumour growth and detection of tumour dissemination to lungs, liver and bone. Magnetic resonance imaging proved useful for monitoring soft tissue tumour growth and volume. Positron emission tomography proved to be of limited use in this model. Overall, we have developed an orthotopic in vivo model for Ewing sarcoma and other primary and secondary human bone malignancies, which resemble the human disease. We have shown the utility of small animal bioimaging for tracking disease progression, making this model a useful assay for preclinical drug testing.
Short interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) offer a highly specific and selective form of therapy for diseases with a genetic component; however the poor pharmacokinetic properties of the molecule have impeded its development into a therapeutic for use in vivo. Several different approaches have been taken to develop a successful siRNA delivery system but these systems lack the flexibility for easy optimisation. Here, we propose a polymeric nanoparticle (PNP) system consisting of two amphiphilic diblock copolymers which allow for the rapid determination of structure-activity relationships involving gene knockdown and toxicity. The diblock copolymers self-assemble into monodisperse micelles of defined hydrodynamic diameters ranging from 30 to 100nm dependent on the copolymer ratio. A luciferase-based high throughput assay varying PNP composition, concentration and siRNA concentration allowed the rapid identification of efficient PNP formulations for adherent and suspension cell lines. Optimised PNPs efficiently knocked down a fusion oncogene in hard to transfect human leukaemic cells raising the possibility of targeting malignant cells in a cancer-specific fashion. This approach allows the optimum PNP formulation to be identified for different cell types and conditions.
Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are versatile tools for the intracellular delivery of various biomolecules, including siRNA. Recently, CPPs were introduced that showed greatly enhanced delivery efficiency. However, the molecular basis of this increased activity is poorly understood. Here, we performed a detailed analysis of the molecular and physicochemical properties of seven different siRNA-CPP nanoparticles. In addition, we determined which complexes are internalized most efficiently into the leukemia cell-line SKNO-1, and subsequently inhibited the expression of a luciferase reporter gene. We demonstrated effective complexation of siRNA for all tested CPPs, and optimal encapsulation of the siRNA was achieved at very similar molar ratios independent of peptide charge. However, CPPs with an extreme high or low overall charge proved to be exceptions, suggesting an optimal range of charge for CPP-siRNA nanoparticle formation based on opposite charge. The most active CPP (PepFect6) displayed high serum resistance but also high sensitivity to decomplexation by polyanionic macromolecules, indicating the necessity for partial decomplexation for efficient uptake. Surprisingly, CPP-siRNA complexes acquired a negative ?-potential in the presence of serum. These novel insights shed light on the observation that cell association is necessary but not sufficient for activity and motivate new research into the nature of the nanoparticle-cell interaction. Overall, our results provide a comprehensive molecular basis for the further development of peptide-based oligonucleotide transfection agents.
Creating contrast between normal anatomy and pathology is the main goal of imaging. Here we compare contrast ratios of enhancing brain lesions at 1.5T between T1 TSE, magnetization prepared rapid gradient echo (MPRAGE) and subtraction and at 3T between T1 FLAIR, MPRAGE and subtraction.
The activation of B-cell-specific genes, such as CD19 and PAX5, is a hallmark of t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) which expresses the translocation product RUNX1/ETO. PAX5 is an important regulator of B-lymphoid development and blocks myeloid differentiation when ectopically expressed. To understand the molecular mechanism of PAX5 deregulation, we examined its chromatin structure and regulation in t(8;21) AML cells, non-t(8;21) myeloid precursor control cells, and pre-B cells. In non-t(8;21) myeloid precursors, PAX5 is poised for transcription, but is repressed by polycomb complexes. In t(8;21) AML, PAX5 is not directly activated by RUNX1/ETO, but expression requires constitutive mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling. Using a model of t(8;21) carrying an activating KIT mutation, we demonstrate that deregulated MAP kinase signaling in t(8;21) AML abrogates the association of polycomb complexes to PAX5 and leads to aberrant gene activation. Our findings therefore suggest a novel role of activating tyrosine kinase mutations in lineage-inappropriate gene expression in AML.
A variety of genetic lesions, including chromosomal translocations, internal tandem duplications, and mutations, have been described in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Expression profiling has shown that chromosomal translocations, in particular, are associated with distinctive patterns of gene expression. AML exhibiting the translocation t(8;21), which fuses the AML1 and ETO genes, has such a characteristic expression profile. One gene whose expression is highly correlated with the presence of the AML1/ETO fusion is POU4F1, which encodes the POU homeodomain transcription factor BRN3A. Here we show using specific siRNA in t(8;21) cells and overexpression studies in progenitor cells that AML1/ETO promotes expression of POU4F1/BRN3A. This effect requires DNA-binding function of AML1/ETO, and accordingly, AML1/ETO is bound to the POU4F1 locus in t(8;21) cells. Functionally, whereas overexpression of Brn3a in murine hematopoietic progenitor cells induces terminal myeloid differentiation, coexpression of AML1/ETO or AML1/ETO9a blocks this effect. Furthermore, Brn3a reduction by shRNA impairs AML1/ETO-induced immortalization of murine progenitors. In summary, we identify POU4F1/BRN3A as a novel potential upregulated AML1/ETO target gene whose dramatically high expression may cooperate with AML1/ETO in t(8;21) cells.
SiRNA molecules represent promising therapeutic molecules, e.g. for cancer therapy. However, efficient delivery into tumor cells remains a major obstacle for treatment. Here, we describe a liposomal siRNA carrier system for targeted delivery of siRNA to CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia cells. The siRNA is directed against the t(8;21) translocation resulting in the AML1/MTG8 fusion protein. The siRNA was encapsulated in free or polyethylene imine (PEI)-complexed form into PEGylated liposomes endowed subsequently with an anti-CD33 single-chain Fv fragment (scFv) for targeted delivery. The resulting siRNA-loaded immunoliposomes (IL) and immunolipoplexes (ILP) showed specific binding and internalization by CD33-expressing myeloid leukemia cell lines (SKNO-1, Kasumi-1). Targeted delivery of AML1/MTG8 siRNA, but not of mismatch control siRNA, reduced AML1/MTG8 mRNA and protein levels and decreased leukemic clonogenicity, a hallmark of leukemic self-renewal. Although this study revealed that further modifications are necessary to increase efficacy of siRNA delivery and silencing, we were able to establish a targeted liposomal siRNA delivery system combining recombinant antibody fragments for targeted delivery with tumor cell-specific siRNA molecules as therapeutic agents.
Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) can switch between a differentiated/contractile and an alternative proliferative phenotype. The transcription factor serum response factor (SRF) has been implicated in the regulation of gene expression profiles determining both phenotypes. Whereas strong evidence exists for a role of SRF in SMC differentiation, the contribution of SRF to SMC proliferation is less well defined. For primary human vascular SMCs in particular, existing data are non-conclusive. To study SRF functions in primary human vascular SMCs, we used an siRNA approach. siRNA-mediated SRF suppression affected the expression of established SRF target genes such as smooth muscle alpha-actin (ACTA2) or SM22alpha (TAGLN) and decreased both F-actin formation and cell migration. Furthermore, SRF knockdown caused a cell-cycle arrest in G1 associated with reduced hyperphosphorylated pRB, cyclin A and SKP2 levels, and increased p27(kip1) (CDKN1B) protein levels. SRF-depleted cells expressed senescence-associated beta-galactosidase indicating an irreversible G1 arrest. siRNA-mediated suppression of SKP2 triggered senescence to a similar extent as SRF depletion, indicating that SRF knockdown-induced senescence may be dependent on a decrease in SKP2. Thus, SRF is an essential regulator of primary human vascular SMC proliferation and senescence. Interfering with SRF function may therefore be a promising strategy for the treatment of hyperproliferative SMC disorders such as atherosclerosis and in-stent restenosis.
For hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a leading cause of cancer death world-wide, there is no effective therapy especially for the advanced stage of the disease. Thus, we started the investigations about a novel anti HCC approach based on the depletion of the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF) in HCC cell lines; SRF choice was based on its recently proposed contribution to HCC tissue development and on its important role in cell proliferation. SRF depletion, obtained by a siRNA (siSRF797), was studied in two HCC cell lines, i.e. HepG2 and JHH6 assigned to high and low hepatocytic differentiation grade on the base of the capacity to synthesize albumin. In the HCC cell lines examined, siSRF797 reduced both the mRNA and protein levels of SRF without inducing unspecific interferon response or cytotoxicity. Moreover, SRF depletion induced the reduction of S-phase cells and a decrease in cell number and vitality. Particularly in HepG2, cell growth impairment was paralleled by the decrease of the levels of the transcription factor E2F1 together with some of its regulated genes. In HepG2 but not in JHH6, SRF depletion was associated with apoptosis. Finally, in both HepG2 and JHH6, the combined administration of siSRF797 and bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor whose therapeutic potential for HCC is considered attractive, further reduced cell viability compared to either siSRF797 or bortezomib treatment alone. In conclusion, SRF depletion affects the expansion of the high and low differentiation grade HCC cells HepG2 and JHH6. These results can pave the way to understand the role of SRF in HCC development and possibly to identify novel anti HCC therapeutic strategies.
Melatonin plays a key role in the proper functioning of the circadian timing system (CTS), and exogenous melatonin has been shown to be beneficial in cases of CTS and sleep disturbances. Nevertheless, the concept of "melatonin deficit" has yet to be defined. The aim of our study was, therefore, to determine the relationship between the degree of pineal calcification (DOC) and a range of sleep parameters measured objectively using polysomnography (PSG).
We report 2 novel, cryptic chromosomal abnormalities in precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL): a translocation, either t(X;14)(p22;q32) or t(Y;14)(p11;q32), in 33 patients and an interstitial deletion, either del(X)(p22.33p22.33) or del(Y)(p11.32p11.32), in 64 patients, involving the pseudoautosomal region (PAR1) of the sex chromosomes. The incidence of these abnormalities was 5% in childhood ALL (0.8% with the translocation, 4.2% with the deletion). Patients with the translocation were older (median age, 16 years), whereas the patients with the deletion were younger (median age, 4 years). The 2 abnormalities result in deregulated expression of the cytokine receptor, cytokine receptor-like factor 2, CRLF2 (also known as thymic stromal-derived lymphopoietin receptor, TSLPR). Overexpression of CRLF2 was associated with activation of the JAK-STAT pathway in cell lines and transduced primary B-cell progenitors, sustaining their proliferation and indicating a causal role of CRLF2 overexpression in lymphoid transformation. In Down syndrome (DS) ALL and 2 non-DS BCP-ALL cell lines, CRLF2 deregulation was associated with mutations of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain, suggesting oncogenic cooperation as well as highlighting a link between non-DS ALL and JAK2 mutations.
The t(8:21)(q22;q22) translocation is 1 of the most common chromosomal abnormalities linked to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML1-ETO, the product of this translocation, fuses the N-terminal portion of the RUNX transcription factor AML1 (also known as RUNX1), including its DNA-binding domain, to the almost entire transcriptional corepressor ETO (also known as MTG8 or RUNX1T1). This fusion protein acts primarily by interfering with endogenous AML1 function during myeloid differentiation, although relatively few genes are known that participate with AML1-ETO during leukemia progression. Here, we assessed the consequences of expressing this chimera in Drosophila blood cells. Reminiscent of what is observed in AML, AML1-ETO specifically inhibited the differentiation of the blood cell lineage whose development depends on the RUNX factor Lozenge (LZ) and induced increased numbers of LZ(+) progenitors. Using an in vivo RNAi-based screen for suppressors of AML1-ETO, we identified calpainB as required for AML1-ETO-induced blood cell disorders in Drosophila. Remarkably, calpain inhibition triggered AML1-ETO degradation and impaired the clonogenic potential of the human t(8;21) leukemic blood cell line Kasumi-1. Therefore Drosophila provides a promising genetically tractable model to investigate the conserved basis of leukemogenesis and to open avenues in AML therapy.
Current cancer chemotherapies heavily rely on the unspecific inhibition of proliferating cells. This lack of tumour cell specificity results in severe toxic side effects and may only hardly affect quiescent cancer stem cells consequently leading to relapse. Since oncogenes are exclusively expressed in malignant and pre-malignant cells, they may provide unique, cancer cell specific targets for therapeutic strategies. However, their role in maintaining the malignant phenotype is frequently unknown. Furthermore, oncogenic transcription factors are generally considered to be "undruggable" with conventional small molecule approaches. Oncogene-specific RNA interference offers here new and exciting options to analyse oncogene functions directly in the malignant environment. Moreover, such approaches may permit the targeting of oncogenic transcription factors, thereby considerably extending the number of cancer-specific target structures. In this chapter, several rationales and practical aspects of oncogene targeting with siRNAs are discussed. Special emphasis is given to the application of RNA interference to haematopoietic cells, which are generally hard to transfect. In particular, solving the problem of systemic siRNA/shRNA delivery will greatly advance the inclusion of RNA interference strategies into more efficient and specific therapeutic strategies.
Upon coincubation with platelets, CD34(+) progenitor cells have the potential to differentiate into foam cells, and thereby may promote the progression of atherosclerosis. The exact mechanism of MMP-regulation during the cellular differentiation process to foam cells is still unclear. Thus, we investigated the role of EMMPRIN (CD147) and its ligand cyclophilin A (CyPA) during foam cell formation originating from both monocytes/macrophages and CD34(+) progenitor cells.
The outcome of patients after coronary bypass grafting is greatly influenced by the type of graft material employed, especially regarding the rate of graft restenosis. Besides direct thrombotic events, the leukocyte-endothelial interaction modulated by adhesion molecules is identified to be the central cause leading to graft alterations. This study deals with a new therapeutic concept in order to achieve superior protection of a new bypass graft by blocking the adhesion molecule expression pathway with RNA interference to inhibit the initial leukocyte adhesion and transmigration. Leukocyte binding to adhesion molecules on activated human venous endothelial cells (HVECs) was determined by video-assisted microscopy in a flow chamber mimicking physiological conditions. The cells under study were sequentially transfected in a nonviral manner with specific short interfering RNA-sequences (siRNA) targeting E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule, and vascular adhesion molecule. After stimulation of adhesion molecule expression by tumor necrosis factor, a leukocyte-rich suspension was run through the chamber and the attaching leukocytes were counted. Transfection with specific siRNA targeting three different adhesion molecules resulted in a highly significant reduction of leukocyte attachment to activated HVECs in each case compared to the controls (p < 0.05). Transfection with a mixture out of all three siRNA-sequences showed the lowest leukocyte adhesion (p < 0.05) compared to the controls. siRNA-sequences inhibit the adhesion molecule expression on HVECs in an extremely effective way; not only in a single transfection of specific molecules but also in a parallel transfection of multiple sequences in one transfection. Accordingly, siRNA treatment significantly reduced adhesion of leukocyte cells to HVECs compared to controls. This study showed for the first time an effective knockdown of the leukocyte-endothelium interactions by transfection of HVECs with a cocktail consisting of three highly specific siRNAs against three different endothelial adhesion molecules.
Leukaemia-propagating cells are more frequent in high-risk acute B lymphoblastic leukaemia than in many malignancies that follow a hierarchical cancer stem cell model. It is unclear whether this characteristic can be more universally applied to patients from non-high-risk sub-groups and across a broad range of cellular immunophenotypes. Here, we demonstrate in a wide range of primary patient samples and patient samples previously passaged through mice that leukaemia-propagating cells are found in all populations defined by high or low expression of the lymphoid differentiation markers CD10, CD20 or CD34. The frequency of leukaemia-propagating cells and their engraftment kinetics do not differ between these populations. Transcriptomic analysis of CD34(high) and CD34(low) blasts establishes their difference and their similarity to comparable normal progenitors at different stages of B-cell development. However, consistent with the functional similarity of these populations, expression signatures characteristic of leukaemia propagating cells in acute myeloid leukaemia fail to distinguish between the different populations. Together, these findings suggest that there is no stem cell hierarchy in acute B lymphoblastic leukaemia.
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.