83 research outputs found

    Rewiring of the 3D genome during acquisition of carboplatin resistance in a triple-negative breast cancer patient-derived xenograft

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    Abstract Changes in the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the genome are an emerging hallmark of cancer. Cancer-associated copy number variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms promote rewiring of chromatin loops, disruption of topologically associating domains (TADs), active/inactive chromatin state switching, leading to oncogene expression and silencing of tumor suppressors. However, little is known about 3D changes during cancer progression to a chemotherapy-resistant state. We integrated chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C), RNA-seq, and whole-genome sequencing obtained from triple-negative breast cancer patient-derived xenograft primary tumors (UCD52) and carboplatin-resistant samples and found increased short-range (< 2 Mb) interactions, chromatin looping, formation of TAD, chromatin state switching into a more active state, and amplification of ATP-binding cassette transporters. Transcriptome changes suggested the role of long-noncoding RNAs in carboplatin resistance. Rewiring of the 3D genome was associated with TP53, TP63, BATF, FOS-JUN family of transcription factors and led to activation of aggressiveness-, metastasis- and other cancer-related pathways. Integrative analysis highlighted increased ribosome biogenesis and oxidative phosphorylation, suggesting the role of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Our results suggest that 3D genome remodeling may be a key mechanism underlying carboplatin resistance

    Stratification of Tamoxifen Synergistic Combinations for the Treatment of ER+ Breast Cancer

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    Breast cancer alone accounts for the majority of cancer deaths among women, with the most commonly diagnosed subtype being estrogen receptor positive (ER+). Survival has greatly improved for patients with ER+ breast cancer, due in part to the development of antiestrogen compounds, such as tamoxifen. While treatment of the primary disease is often successful, as many as 30% of patients will experience recurrence and metastasis, mainly due to developed endocrine therapy resistance. In this study, we discovered two tamoxifen combination therapies, with simeprevir and VX-680, that reduce the tumor burden in animal models of ER+ breast cancer more than either compound or tamoxifen alone. Additionally, these tamoxifen combinations reduced the expression of HER2, a hallmark of tamoxifen treatment, which can facilitate acquisition of a treatment-resistant phenotype. These combinations could provide clinical benefit by potentiating tamoxifen treatment in ER+ breast cancer

    Restoring the DREAM Complex Inhibits the Proliferation of High-Risk HPV Positive Human Cells

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    High-risk (HR) human papillomaviruses are known causative agents in 5% of human cancers including cervical, ano-genital and head and neck carcinomas. In part, HR-HPV causes cancer by targeting host-cell tumor suppressors including retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and RB-like proteins p107 and p130. HR-HPV E7 uses a LxCxE motif to bind RB proteins, impairing their ability to control cell-cycle dependent transcription. E7 disrupts DREAM (Dimerization partner, RB-like, E2F and MuvB), a transcriptional repressor complex that can include p130 or p107, but not pRb, which regulates genes required for cell cycle progression. However, it is not known whether disruption of DREAM plays a significant role in HPV-driven tumorigenesis. In the DREAM complex, LIN52 is an adaptor that binds directly to p130 via an E7-like LxSxE motif. Replacement of the LxSxE sequence in LIN52 with LxCxE (LIN52-S20C) increases p130 binding and partially restores DREAM assembly in HPV-positive keratinocytes and human cervical cancer cells, inhibiting proliferation. Our findings demonstrate that disruption of the DREAM complex by E7 is an important process promoting cellular proliferation by HR-HPV. Restoration of the DREAM complex in HR-HPV positive cells may therefore have therapeutic benefits in HR-HPV positive cancers

    Unmasking BCL-2 Addiction in Synovial Sarcoma by Overcoming Low NOXA

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    Synovial sarcoma (SS) is frequently diagnosed in teenagers and young adults and continues to be treated with polychemotherapy with variable success. The SS18-SSX gene fusion is pathognomonic for the disease, and high expression of the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 pathologically supports the diagnosis. As the oncogenic SS18-SSX fusion gene itself is not druggable, BCL-2 inhibitor-based therapies are an appealing therapeutic opportunity. Venetoclax, an FDA-approved BCL-2 inhibitor that is revolutionizing care in some BCL-2-expressing hematological cancers, affords an intriguing therapeutic possibility to treat SS. In addition, there are now dozens of venetoclax-based combination therapies in clinical trials in hematological cancers, attributing to the limited toxicity of venetoclax. However, preclinical studies of venetoclax in SS have demonstrated an unexpected ineffectiveness. In this study, we analyzed the response of SS to venetoclax and the underlying BCL-2 family biology in an effort to understand venetoclax treatment failure and find a therapeutic strategy to sensitize SS to venetoclax. We found remarkably depressed levels of the endogenous MCL-1 inhibitor, NOXA, in SS compared to other sarcomas. Expressing NOXA led to sensitization to venetoclax, as did the addition of the MCL-1 BH3 mimetic, S63845. Importantly, the venetoclax/S63845 combination induced tumor regressions in SS patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. As a very close analog of S63845 (S64315) is now in clinical trials with venetoclax in AML (NCT03672695), the combination of MCL-1 BH3 mimetics and venetoclax should be considered for SS patients as a new therapy

    Sjögren’s Syndrome Minor Salivary Gland CD4+ Memory T Cells Associate with Glandular Disease Features and Have a Germinal Center T Follicular Helper Transcriptional Profile

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    To assess the types of salivary gland (SG) T cells contributing to Sj&ouml;gren&rsquo;s syndrome (SS), we evaluated SG T cell subtypes for association with disease features and compared the SG CD4+ memory T cell transcriptomes of subjects with either primary SS (pSS) or non-SS sicca (nSS). SG biopsies were evaluated for proportions and absolute numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. SG memory CD4+ T cells were evaluated for gene expression by microarray. Differentially-expressed genes were identified, and gene set enrichment and pathways analyses were performed. CD4+CD45RA&minus; T cells were increased in pSS compared to nSS subjects (33.2% vs. 22.2%, p &lt; 0.0001), while CD8+CD45RA&minus; T cells were decreased (38.5% vs. 46.0%, p = 0.0014). SG fibrosis positively correlated with numbers of memory T cells. Proportions of SG CD4+CD45RA&minus; T cells correlated with focus score (r = 0.43, p &lt; 0.0001), corneal damage (r = 0.43, p &lt; 0.0001), and serum Ro antibodies (r = 0.40, p &lt; 0.0001). Differentially-expressed genes in CD4+CD45RA&minus; cells indicated a T follicular helper (Tfh) profile, increased homing and increased cellular interactions. Predicted upstream drivers of the Tfh signature included TCR, TNF, TGF-&beta;1, IL-4, and IL-21. In conclusion, the proportions and numbers of SG memory CD4+ T cells associate with key SS features, consistent with a central role in disease pathogenesis

    Separation of breast cancer and organ microenvironment transcriptomes in metastases

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    Abstract Background The seed and soil hypothesis was proposed over a century ago to describe why cancer cells (seeds) grow in certain organs (soil). Since then, the genetic properties that define the cancer cells have been heavily investigated; however, genomic mediators within the organ microenvironment that mediate successful metastatic growth are less understood. These studies sought to identify cancer- and organ-specific genomic programs that mediate metastasis. Methods In these studies, a set of 14 human breast cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) metastasis models was developed and then tested for metastatic tropism with two approaches: spontaneous metastases from mammary tumors and intravenous injection of PDX cells. The transcriptomes of the cancer cells when growing as tumors or metastases were separated from the transcriptomes of the microenvironment via species-specific separation of the genomes. Drug treatment of PDX spheroids was performed to determine if genes activated in metastases may identify targetable mediators of viability. Results The experimental approaches that generated metastases in PDX models were identified. RNA sequencing of 134 tumors, metastases, and normal non-metastatic organs identified cancer- and organ-specific genomic properties that mediated metastasis. A common genomic response of the liver microenvironment was found to occur in reaction to the invading PDX cells. Genes within the cancer cells were found to be either transiently regulated by the microenvironment or permanently altered due to clonal selection of metastatic sublines. Gene Set Enrichment Analyses identified more than 400 gene signatures that were commonly activated in metastases across basal-like PDXs. A Src signaling signature was found to be extensively upregulated in metastases, and Src inhibitors were found to be cytotoxic to PDX spheroids. Conclusions These studies identified that during the growth of breast cancer metastases, there were genomic changes that occurred within both the cancer cells and the organ microenvironment. We hypothesize that pathways upregulated in metastases are mediators of viability and that simultaneously targeting changes within different cancer cell pathways and/or different tissue compartments may be needed for inhibition of disease progression

    OKN-007 Increases temozolomide (TMZ) Sensitivity and Suppresses TMZ-Resistant Glioblastoma (GBM) Tumor Growth

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    Treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) remains a challenge using conventional chemotherapy, such as temozolomide (TMZ), and is often ineffective as a result of drug resistance. We have assessed a novel nitrone-based agent, OKN-007, and found it to be effective in decreasing tumor volumes and increasing survival in orthotopic GBM xenografts by decreasing cell proliferation and angiogenesis and increasing apoptosis. In this study, we assessed combining OKN-007 with TMZ in vivo in a human G55 GBM orthotopic xenograft model and in vitro in TMZ-resistant and TMZ-sensitive human GBM cell lines. For the in vivo studies, magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess tumor growth and vascular alterations. Percent animal survival was also determined. For the in vitro studies, cell growth, IC50 values, RNA-seq, RT-PCR, and ELISA were used to assess growth inhibition, possible mechanism-of actions (MOAs) associated with combined OKN-007 + TMZ versus TMZ alone, and gene and protein expression levels, respectively. Microarray analysis of OKN-007–treated rat F98 glioma tumors was also carried out to determine possible MOAs of OKN-007 in glioma-bearing animals either treated or not treated with OKN-007. OKN-007 seems to elicit its effect on GBM tumors via inhibition of tumorigenic TGF-β1, which affects the extracellular matrix. When combined with TMZ, OKN-007 significantly increases percent survival, decreases tumor volumes, and normalizes tumor blood vasculature in vivo compared to untreated tumors and seems to affect TMZ-resistant GBM cells possibly via IDO-1, SUMO2, and PFN1 in vitro. Combined OKN-007 + TMZ may be a potentially potent treatment strategy for GBM patients

    HiCcompare: an R-package for joint normalization and comparison of HI-C datasets

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    Abstract Background Changes in spatial chromatin interactions are now emerging as a unifying mechanism orchestrating the regulation of gene expression. Hi-C sequencing technology allows insight into chromatin interactions on a genome-wide scale. However, Hi-C data contains many DNA sequence- and technology-driven biases. These biases prevent effective comparison of chromatin interactions aimed at identifying genomic regions differentially interacting between, e.g., disease-normal states or different cell types. Several methods have been developed for normalizing individual Hi-C datasets. However, they fail to account for biases between two or more Hi-C datasets, hindering comparative analysis of chromatin interactions. Results We developed a simple and effective method, HiCcompare, for the joint normalization and differential analysis of multiple Hi-C datasets. The method introduces a distance-centric analysis and visualization of the differences between two Hi-C datasets on a single plot that allows for a data-driven normalization of biases using locally weighted linear regression (loess). HiCcompare outperforms methods for normalizing individual Hi-C datasets and methods for differential analysis (diffHiC, FIND) in detecting a priori known chromatin interaction differences while preserving the detection of genomic structures, such as A/B compartments. Conclusions HiCcompare is able to remove between-dataset bias present in Hi-C matrices. It also provides a user-friendly tool to allow the scientific community to perform direct comparisons between the growing number of pre-processed Hi-C datasets available at online repositories. HiCcompare is freely available as a Bioconductor R package https://bioconductor.org/packages/HiCcompare/
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