Abstract

RATIONALE: Despite extensive studies, the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that mediate initiation and progression of lung cancers have not been fully elucidated. Previously, we have demonstrated that via complementary mechanisms, including DNA methylation, polycomb repressive complexes, and noncoding RNAs, cigarette smoke induces stem-like phenotypes that coincide with progression to malignancy in normal respiratory epithelia as well as enhanced growth and metastatic potential of lung cancer cells. OBJECTIVES: To further investigate epigenetic mechanisms contributing to stemness/pluripotency in lung cancers and potentially identify novel therapeutic targets in these malignancies, induced pluripotent stem cells were generated from normal human small airway epithelial cells. METHODS: Lung induced pluripotent stem cells were generated by lentiviral transduction of small airway epithelial cells of OSKM (Yamanaka) factors (octamer-binding transcription factor 4 [Oct4], sex-determining region Y box 2 [SOX2], Kruppel-like factor 4 [KLF4], and MYC proto-oncogene, bHLH transcription factor [MYC]). Western blot, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing analysis were performed. RESULTS: The lung induced pluripotent stem cells exhibited hallmarks of pluripotency, including morphology, surface antigen and stem cell gene expression, in vitro proliferation, and teratoma formation. In addition, lung induced pluripotent stem cells exhibited no chromosomal aberrations, complete silencing of reprogramming transgenes, genomic hypermethylation, upregulation of genes encoding components of polycomb repressive complex 2, hypermethylation of stem cell polycomb targets, and modulation of more than 15,000 other genes relative to parental small airway epithelial cells. Additional sex combs like-3 (ASXL3), encoding a polycomb repressive complex 2-associated protein not previously described in reprogrammed cells, was markedly upregulated in lung induced pluripotent stem cell as well as human small cell lung cancer lines and specimens. Overexpression of the additional sex combs like-3 gene correlated with increased genomic copy number in small cell lung cancer lines. Knock-down of the additional sex combs like-3 gene inhibited proliferation, clonogenicity, and teratoma formation by lung induced pluripotent stem cells and significantly diminished in vitro clonogenicity and growth of small cell lung cancer cells in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these studies highlight the potential utility of this lung induced pluripotent stem cell model for elucidating epigenetic mechanisms contributing to pulmonary carcinogenesis and suggest that additional sex combs like-3 is a novel target for small cell lung cancer therapy

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Last time updated on 3/31/2019

This paper was published in NARCIS .

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