37 research outputs found

    HLA expression as a risk factor for metastases of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma in organ- transplant recipients

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    Background: Solid organ-transplant recipients (SOTR) have an increased risk of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma (cSCC), metastasis and death from cSCC. In immunocompetent patients with mucosal SCC, downregulation of HLA class I is associated with poor prognosis. Since the degree of HLA expression on tumor cells could play a role in immunogenicity and pathophysiology of cSCC metastasis, we hypothesized that decreased HLA expression is associated with an increased risk of metastasis. Methods: We compared HLA expression between primary metastasized cSCCs, their metastases, and non-metastasized cSCCs from the same patients. Samples were stained for HLA-A, HLA-B/-C and quantified by calculating the difference in immunoreactivity score (IRS) of the primary cSCC compared with all non-metastasized cSCCs. Results: The mean IRS score for HLA-B/C expression was 2.07 point higher in metastasized compared to non-metastasized cSCCs (p = 0.065, 95 % CI −0.18–4.32). 83.3 % of the primary metastasized cSCCs had an IRS score of 4 or higher, compared to 42.9 % in non-metastasized cSCCs. Moderately to poorly differentiated cSCCs had more HLA class I expression compared to well-differentiated cSCCs. Conclusion: Contrary to immunocompetent patients, HLA-B/C expression tends to be upregulated in metastasized cSCC compared to non-metastasized cSCC in SOTR, suggesting that different tumor escape mechanisms play a role in SOTR compared to immunocompetent patients

    Trichothiodystrophy-associated MPLKIP maintains DBR1 levels for proper lariat debranching and ectodermal differentiation

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    The brittle hair syndrome Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) is characterized by variable clinical features, including photosensitivity, ichthyosis, growth retardation, microcephaly, intellectual disability, hypogonadism, and anaemia. TTD-associated mutations typically cause unstable mutant proteins involved in various steps of gene expression, severely reducing steady-state mutant protein levels. However, to date, no such link to instability of gene-expression factors for TTD-associated mutations in MPLKIP/TTDN1 has been established. Here, we present seven additional TTD individuals with MPLKIP mutations from five consanguineous families, with a newly identified MPLKIP variant in one family. By mass spectrometry-based interaction proteomics, we demonstrate that MPLKIP interacts with core splicing factors and the lariat debranching protein DBR1. MPLKIP-deficient primary fibroblasts have reduced steady-state DBR1 protein levels. Using Human Skin Equivalents (HSEs), we observed impaired keratinocyte differentiation associated with compromised splicing and eventually, an imbalanced proteome affecting skin development and, interestingly, also the immune system. Our data show that MPLKIP, through its DBR1 stabilizing role, is implicated in mRNA splicing, which is of particular importance in highly differentiated tissue.</p

    Human Papillary and Reticular Fibroblasts Show Distinct Functions on Tumor Behavior in 3D-Organotypic Cultures Mimicking Melanoma and HNSCC

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    Human dermis can be morphologically divided into the upper papillary and lower reticular dermis. Previously, we demonstrated that papillary (PFs) and reticular (RFs) fibroblasts show distinct morphology and gene expression profiles. Moreover, they differently affect tumor invasion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in in vitro 3D-organotypic cultures of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). In this study, we examined if these distinct effects of PFs and RFs can be extrapolated in other epithelial/non-epithelial tumors such as melanoma and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). To this end, 3D-Full-Thickness Models (FTMs) were established from melanoma (AN and M14) or HNSCC cell lines (UM-SCC19 and UM-SCC47) together with either PFs or RFs in the dermis. The interplay between tumor cells and different fibroblasts was investigated. We observed that all the tested tumor cell lines showed significantly stronger invasion in RF-FTMs compared to PF-FTMs. In addition, RF-FTMs demonstrated more tumor cell proliferation, EMT induction and basement membrane disruption. Interestingly, RFs started to express the cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) biomarker &alpha;-SMA, indicating reciprocal interactions eventuating in the transition of RFs to CAFs. Collectively, in the melanoma and HNSCC FTMs, interaction of RFs with tumor cells promoted EMT and invasion, which was accompanied by differentiation of RFs to CAFs

    The effect of PPAR isoform (de)activation on the lipid composition in full-thickness skin models

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    Human skin equivalents (HSEs) are 3D-cultured human skin models that mimic many aspects of native human skin (NHS). Although HSEs resemble NHS very closely, the barrier located in the stratum corneum (SC) is impaired. This is caused by an altered lipid composition in the SC of HSEs compared with NHS. One of the most pronounced changes in this lipid composition is a high level of monounsaturation. One key enzyme in this change is stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), which catalyses the monounsaturation of lipids. In order to normalize the lipid composition, we aimed to target a group of nuclear receptors that are important regulators in the lipid synthesis. This group of receptors are known as the peroxisome proliferating activating receptors (PPARs). By (de)activating each isoform (PPAR-α, PPAR-δ and PPAR-γ), the PPAR isoforms may have normalizing effects on the lipid composition. In addition, another PPAR-α agonist Wy14643 was included as this supplement demonstrated normalizing effects in the lipid composition in a more recent study. After PPAR (ant)agonists supplementation, the mRNA of downstream targets, lipid synthesis genes and lipid composition were investigated. The PPAR downstream targets were activated, indicating that the supplements reached the keratinocytes to trigger their effect. However, minimal impact was observed on the lipid composition after PPAR isoform (de) activation. Only the highest concentration Wy14643 resulted in strong, but negative effects on CER composition. Although the novel tested modifications did not result in an improvement, more insight is gained on the nuclear receptors PPARs and their effects on the lipid barrier in full-thickness skin models

    The effect of TGFβRI inhibition on fibroblast heterogeneity in hypertrophic scar 2D in vitro models

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    In burn patients, wound healing is often accompanied by hypertrophic scarring (HTS), resulting in both functional and aesthetic problems. HTSs are characterized by abundant presence of myofibroblasts (MFs) residing in the dermis. HTS development and MF persistence is primarily regulated by TGF-β signalling. A promising method to target the transforming growth factor receptor I (TGFβRI; also known as activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5)) is by making use of exon skipping through antisense oligonucleotides. In HTS the distinguishing border between the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis is completely abrogated, thus exhibiting a one layered dermis containing a heterogenous fibroblast population, consisting of papillary fibroblasts (PFs), reticular fibroblasts (RFs) and MFs. It has been proposed that PFs, as opposed to RFs, exhibit anti-fibrotic properties. Currently, it is still unclear which fibroblast subtype is most affected by exon skipping treatment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of TGFβRI inhibition by exon skipping in PF, RF and HTS fibroblast monocultures. Morphological analyses revealed the presence of a PF-like population after exon skipping in the different fibroblast cultures. This observation was further confirmed by the expression of genes specific for PFs, demonstrated by qPCR analyses. Further investigations on mRNA and protein level revealed that indeed MFs and to a lesser extent RFs are targeted by exon skipping. Furthermore, collagen gel contraction analysis showed that ALK5 exon skipping reduced TGF-β- induced contraction together with decreased alpha-smooth muscle actin expression levels. In conclusion, we show for the first time that exon skipping primarily targets pro-fibrotic fibroblasts. This could be a promising step towards reduced HTS development of burn tissue

    The effect of TGFβRI inhibition on fibroblast heterogeneity in hypertrophic scar 2D in vitro models

    No full text
    In burn patients, wound healing is often accompanied by hypertrophic scarring (HTS), resulting in both functional and aesthetic problems. HTSs are characterized by abundant presence of myofibroblasts (MFs) residing in the dermis. HTS development and MF persistence is primarily regulated by TGF-β signalling. A promising method to target the transforming growth factor receptor I (TGFβRI; also known as activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5)) is by making use of exon skipping through antisense oligonucleotides. In HTS the distinguishing border between the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis is completely abrogated, thus exhibiting a one layered dermis containing a heterogenous fibroblast population, consisting of papillary fibroblasts (PFs), reticular fibroblasts (RFs) and MFs. It has been proposed that PFs, as opposed to RFs, exhibit anti-fibrotic properties. Currently, it is still unclear which fibroblast subtype is most affected by exon skipping treatment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of TGFβRI inhibition by exon skipping in PF, RF and HTS fibroblast monocultures. Morphological analyses revealed the presence of a PF-like population after exon skipping in the different fibroblast cultures. This observation was further confirmed by the expression of genes specific for PFs, demonstrated by qPCR analyses. Further investigations on mRNA and protein level revealed that indeed MFs and to a lesser extent RFs are targeted by exon skipping. Furthermore, collagen gel contraction analysis showed that ALK5 exon skipping reduced TGF-β- induced contraction together with decreased alpha-smooth muscle actin expression levels. In conclusion, we show for the first time that exon skipping primarily targets pro-fibrotic fibroblasts. This could be a promising step towards reduced HTS development of burn tissue

    The effect of TGFβRI inhibition on fibroblast heterogeneity in hypertrophic scar 2D in vitro models.

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    In burn patients, wound healing is often accompanied by hypertrophic scarring (HTS), resulting in both functional and aesthetic problems. HTSs are characterized by abundant presence of myofibroblasts (MFs) residing in the dermis. HTS development and MF persistence is primarily regulated by TGF-β signalling. A promising method to target the transforming growth factor receptor I (TGFβRI; also known as activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5)) is by making use of exon skipping through antisense oligonucleotides. In HTS the distinguishing border between the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis is completely abrogated, thus exhibiting a one layered dermis containing a heterogenous fibroblast population, consisting of papillary fibroblasts (PFs), reticular fibroblasts (RFs) and MFs. It has been proposed that PFs, as opposed to RFs, exhibit anti-fibrotic properties. Currently, it is still unclear which fibroblast subtype is most affected by exon skipping treatment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of TGFβRI inhibition by exon skipping in PF, RF and HTS fibroblast monocultures. Morphological analyses revealed the presence of a PF-like population after exon skipping in the different fibroblast cultures. This observation was further confirmed by the expression of genes specific for PFs, demonstrated by qPCR analyses. Further investigations on mRNA and protein level revealed that indeed MFs and to a lesser extent RFs are targeted by exon skipping. Furthermore, collagen gel contraction analysis showed that ALK5 exon skipping reduced TGF-β- induced contraction together with decreased alpha-smooth muscle actin expression levels. In conclusion, we show for the first time that exon skipping primarily targets pro-fibrotic fibroblasts. This could be a promising step towards reduced HTS development of burn tissue

    Exon skipping of TGFβRI affects signalling and ECM expression in hypertrophic scar-derived fibroblasts.

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    Background In burn patients, wound healing is often accompanied by hypertrophic scar (HS) development, resulting in both functional and aesthetic problems. HSs are characterised by abundant presence of myofibroblasts that contribute to overproduction of extracellular matrix (ECM) that is regulated by the TGF-β signalling pathway. Studies have shown that inhibition of TGF-β receptors in fibrotic diseases reduces the fibrotic load. In the present study, we aim to inactivate ALK5, also known as TGF-β receptor I, in human HS fibroblasts by exon skipping using antisense oligonucleotides (AONs). Methods HS biopsies were used to isolate and set up fibroblast monocultures. AONs targeting ALK5 were supplemented to the fibroblast cultures to induce exon skipping, while pharmacological ALK5 inhibition was induced using SB431542. AON delivery in HS fibroblasts was examined using immunofluorescence (IF), while TGF-β signalling downstream targets, such as Smad2/3, PAI-1, ACTA2, COL1A1 and COL3A1, were analysed using touchdown polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR (qPCR), IF or western blotting. Results Our data clearly demonstrate that AONs were successfully delivered in the nuclei of HS fibroblasts and that functional exon skipping of ALK5 took place as confirmed with touchdown PCR and qPCR. In addition, exon skipping affected the expression of ECM-related genes, such as type I/III collagens, PAI-1 and CCN2. Moreover, AON treatment did not affect the migration of HS fibroblasts in a model for wound healing. Conclusion Exon skipping is a promising tool to modulate the TGF-β signalling pathway in HS. This would open a therapeutic window for the treatment of patients suffering from HSs

    Improved epidermal barrier formation in human skin models by chitosan modulated dermal matrices

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    <div><p>Full thickness human skin models (FTMs) contain an epidermal and a dermal equivalent. The latter is composed of a collagen dermal matrix which harbours fibroblasts. Current epidermal barrier properties of FTMs do not fully resemble that of native human skin (NHS), which makes these human skin models less suitable for barrier related studies. To further enhance the resemblance of NHS for epidermal morphogenesis and barrier formation, we modulated the collagen dermal matrix with the biocompatible polymer chitosan. Herein, we report that these collagen-chitosan FTMs (CC-FTMs) possess a well-organized epidermis and maintain both the early and late differentiation programs as in FTMs. Distinctively, the epidermal cell activation is reduced in CC-FTMs to levels observed in NHS. Dermal-epidermal interactions are functional in both FTM types, based on the formation of the basement membrane. Evaluation of the barrier structure by the organization of the extracellular lipid matrix of the stratum corneum revealed an elongated repeat distance of the long periodicity phase. The ceramide composition exhibited a higher resemblance of the NHS, based on the carbon chain-length distribution and subclass profile. The inside-out barrier functionality indicated by the transepidermal water loss is significantly improved in the CC-FTMs. The expression of epidermal barrier lipid processing enzymes is marginally affected, although more restricted to a single granular layer. The novel CC-FTM resembles the NHS more closely, which makes them a promising tool for epidermal barrier related studies.</p></div
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