Research IndicatorsGraph generated 29 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (4)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: CSE1L (cancer-related)
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a neurovascular familial or sporadic disease that is characterised by capillary-venous cavernomas, and is due to loss-of-function mutations to any one of three CCM genes. Familial CCM follows a two-hit mechanism similar to that of tumour suppressor genes, while in sporadic cavernomas only a small fraction of endothelial cells shows mutated CCM genes. We reported that in mouse models and in human patients, endothelial cells lining the lesions have different features from the surrounding endothelium, as they express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers. Here we show that cavernomas originate from clonal expansion of few Ccm3-null endothelial cells that express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers. These cells then attract surrounding wild-type endothelial cells, inducing them to express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers and to contribute to cavernoma growth. These characteristics of Ccm3-null cells are reminiscent of the tumour-initiating cells that are responsible for tumour growth. Our data support the concept that CCM has benign tumour characteristics.
Non-genetic drug resistance is increasingly recognised in various cancers. Molecular insights into this process are lacking and it is unknown whether stable non-genetic resistance can be overcome. Using single cell RNA-sequencing of paired drug naïve and resistant AML patient samples and cellular barcoding in a unique mouse model of non-genetic resistance, here we demonstrate that transcriptional plasticity drives stable epigenetic resistance. With a CRISPR-Cas9 screen we identify regulators of enhancer function as important modulators of the resistant cell state. We show that inhibition of Lsd1 (Kdm1a) is able to overcome stable epigenetic resistance by facilitating the binding of the pioneer factor, Pu.1 and cofactor, Irf8, to nucleate new enhancers that regulate the expression of key survival genes. This enhancer switching results in the re-distribution of transcriptional co-activators, including Brd4, and provides the opportunity to disable their activity and overcome epigenetic resistance. Together these findings highlight key principles to help counteract non-genetic drug resistance.
Zhang T, Suo C, Zheng C, Zhang HHypoxia and Metabolism in Metastasis.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019; 1136:87-95 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The hypoxic microenvironment is one of the major features of solid tumors, which regulates cell malignancy in multiple ways. As a response to hypoxia, a large number of target genes involved in cell growth, metabolism, metastasis and immunity are activated in cancer cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), as a heterodimeric DNA-binding complex, is comprised of a constitutively expressed HIF-1β subunit and an oxygen sensitive HIF-1α subunit, thus, adapts to decreased oxygen availability as a transcriptional factor. HIF-1 regulates many genes involved in tumorigenesis. Here, we focus on cancer cell metabolism and metastasis regulated by hypoxia.
BET-bromodomain inhibition (BETi) has shown pre-clinical promise for MYC-amplified medulloblastoma. However, the mechanisms for its action, and ultimately for resistance, have not been fully defined. Here, using a combination of expression profiling, genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9-mediated loss of function and ORF/cDNA driven rescue screens, and cell-based models of spontaneous resistance, we identify bHLH/homeobox transcription factors and cell-cycle regulators as key genes mediating BETi's response and resistance. Cells that acquire drug tolerance exhibit a more neuronally differentiated cell-state and expression of lineage-specific bHLH/homeobox transcription factors. However, they do not terminally differentiate, maintain expression of CCND2, and continue to cycle through S-phase. Moreover, CDK4/CDK6 inhibition delays acquisition of resistance. Therefore, our data provide insights about the mechanisms underlying BETi effects and the appearance of resistance and support the therapeutic use of combined cell-cycle inhibitors with BETi in MYC-amplified medulloblastoma.
Staněk L, Gürlich R, Hajer J, et al.Molecular pathology of cholangiocellular carcinomas.
Cas Lek Cesk. 2019; 158(2):64-67 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Cholangiocellular carcinoma is a relatively rare malignant tumor, originating from cholangiocytes, with poor prognosis and late diagnosis. It is a malignancy with a variable biological etiology, numerous genetic and epigenetic changes. Its incidence in the Czech Republic is about 1.4 per 100,000 people per year. For good prognosis and long-term survival, early diagnosis with surgical treatment is important. In these cases, a 5-year survival rate is about 20-40 %. In the early diagnosis imaging methods and histopathological verification play an essential role, whereas laboratory oncomarkers are not yet sufficiently accurate. The same applies for genetic markers. This leads to the search of new molecular targets and the high effort in the introduction of cytological and molecular-biological methods with high specificity and sensitivity into routine practice. Current early diagnosis is based on the use of efficient imaging methods. The use of genetic testing, and especially knowledge of the molecular basis of this disease, will be of a great benefit. The observation of the association between the genetic pathways, IDH1, RAS-MAPK etc., and genetic mutations of genes, such as TP53, KRAS, SMAD4, BRAF, IDH1/2, may be significant. From the molecular point of view, it is also interesting to monitor oncogenic potential in HBV/HCV infection.
Many gene fusions are reported in tumours and for most their role remains unknown. As fusions are used for diagnostic and prognostic purposes, and are targets for treatment, it is crucial to assess their function in cancer. To systematically investigate the role of fusions in tumour cell fitness, we utilized RNA-sequencing data from 1011 human cancer cell lines to functionally link 8354 fusion events with genomic data, sensitivity to >350 anti-cancer drugs and CRISPR-Cas9 loss-of-fitness effects. Established clinically-relevant fusions were identified. Overall, detection of functional fusions was rare, including those involving cancer driver genes, suggesting that many fusions are dispensable for tumour fitness. Therapeutically actionable fusions involving RAF1, BRD4 and ROS1 were verified in new histologies. In addition, recurrent YAP1-MAML2 fusions were identified as activators of Hippo-pathway signaling in multiple cancer types. Our approach discriminates functional fusions, identifying new drivers of carcinogenesis and fusions that could have clinical implications.
In colorectal cancer (CRC), aberrant Wnt signalling is essential for tumorigenesis and maintenance of cancer stem cells. However, how other oncogenic pathways converge on Wnt signalling to modulate stem cell homeostasis in CRC currently remains poorly understood. Using large-scale compound screens in CRC, we identify MEK1/2 inhibitors as potent activators of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Targeting MEK increases Wnt activity in different CRC cell lines and murine intestine in vivo. Truncating mutations of APC generated by CRISPR/Cas9 strongly synergize with MEK inhibitors in enhancing Wnt responses in isogenic CRC models. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that MEK inhibition induces a rapid downregulation of AXIN1. Using patient-derived CRC organoids, we show that MEK inhibition leads to increased Wnt activity, elevated LGR5 levels and enrichment of gene signatures associated with stemness and cancer relapse. Our study demonstrates that clinically used MEK inhibitors inadvertently induce stem cell plasticity, revealing an unknown side effect of RAS pathway inhibition.
The abnormal proliferation of cancer cells is driven by deregulated oncogenes or tumor suppressors, among which the cancer-vulnerable genes are attractive therapeutic targets. Targeting mislocalization of oncogenes and tumor suppressors resulting from aberrant nuclear export is effective for inhibiting growth transformation of cancer cells. We performed a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) screening in a unique model of matched primary and oncogenic Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-transformed cells and identified genes that were growth promoting and growth suppressive for both types of cells, among which exportin XPO1 was demonstrated to be critical for the survival of transformed cells. Using XPO1 inhibitor KPT-8602 and by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown, we confirmed the essential role of XPO1 in cell proliferation and growth transformation of KSHV-transformed cells and in cell lines of other cancers, including gastric cancer and liver cancer. XPO1 inhibition induced cell cycle arrest through p53 activation, but the mechanisms of p53 activation differed among the different types of cancer cells. p53 activation depended on the formation of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies in gastric cancer and liver cancer cells. Mechanistically, XPO1 inhibition induced relocalization of autophagy adaptor protein p62 (SQSTM1), recruiting p53 for activation in PML nuclear bodies. Taken the data together, we have identified novel growth-promoting and growth-suppressive genes of primary and cancer cells and have demonstrated that XPO1 is a vulnerable target of cancer cells. XPO1 inhibition induces cell arrest through a novel PML- and p62-dependent mechanism of p53 activation in some types of cancer cells.
Foretová LHereditary cancer syndromes, their testing and prevention.
Cas Lek Cesk. 2019; 158(1):15-21 [PubMed
] Related Publications
About 5-10 % of cancer diseases may be caused by genetic predisposition, in ovarian cancer it could be almost 20 % of cases. The cause is mostly a pathogenic germline mutation in tumor suppressor genes, DNA repair genes, less frequently in oncogenes. So far, we know more than 200 hereditary cancer syndromes. The most frequently tested are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome), quite frequent are also hereditary gastrointestinal polyposes. Genetic counseling and testing are routinely available for patients or their relatives. Testing methods are changing; nowadays we use next generation sequencing methods (massive parallel sequencing) with testing of panels of high-risk genes. If the mutation is discovered, we may offer the testing to relatives. Genetic testing is indicated by medical geneticist after the genetic counseling session. High-risk individuals should be followed oncology clinics or by other specialists.
Despite their location at the cell surface, several receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are also found in the nucleus, as either intracellular domains or full length proteins. However, their potential nuclear functions remain poorly understood. Here we find that a fraction of full length Colony Stimulating Factor-1 Receptor (CSF-1R), an RTK involved in monocyte/macrophage generation, migrates to the nucleus upon CSF-1 stimulation in human primary monocytes. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation identifies the preferential recruitment of CSF-1R to intergenic regions, where it co-localizes with H3K4me1 and interacts with the transcription factor EGR1. When monocytes are differentiated into macrophages with CSF-1, CSF-1R is redirected to transcription starting sites, colocalizes with H3K4me3, and interacts with ELK and YY1 transcription factors. CSF-1R expression and chromatin recruitment is modulated by small molecule CSF-1R inhibitors and altered in monocytes from chronic myelomonocytic leukemia patients. Unraveling this dynamic non-canonical CSF-1R function suggests new avenues to explore the poorly understood functions of this receptor and its ligands.
Bromodomain-containing protein 9 (BRD9) is a recently identified subunit of SWI/SNF(BAF) chromatin remodeling complexes, yet its function is poorly understood. Here, using a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen, we show that BRD9 is a specific vulnerability in pediatric malignant rhabdoid tumors (RTs), which are driven by inactivation of the SMARCB1 subunit of SWI/SNF. We find that BRD9 exists in a unique SWI/SNF sub-complex that lacks SMARCB1, which has been considered a core subunit. While SMARCB1-containing SWI/SNF complexes are bound preferentially at enhancers, we show that BRD9-containing complexes exist at both promoters and enhancers. Mechanistically, we show that SMARCB1 loss causes increased BRD9 incorporation into SWI/SNF thus providing insight into BRD9 vulnerability in RTs. Underlying the dependency, while its bromodomain is dispensable, the DUF3512 domain of BRD9 is essential for SWI/SNF integrity in the absence of SMARCB1. Collectively, our results reveal a BRD9-containing SWI/SNF subcomplex is required for the survival of SMARCB1-mutant RTs.
Saeinasab M, Bahrami AR, González J, et al.SNHG15 is a bifunctional MYC-regulated noncoding locus encoding a lncRNA that promotes cell proliferation, invasion and drug resistance in colorectal cancer by interacting with AIF.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):172 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in various types of cancers, however our understanding of their role in the disease is still very limited.
METHODS: We applied RNAseq analysis from patient-derived data with validation in independent cohort of patients. We followed these studies with gene regulation analysis as well as experimental dissection of the role of the identified lncRNA by multiple in vitro and in vivo methods.
RESULTS: We analyzed RNA-seq data from tumors of 456 CRC patients compared to normal samples, and identified SNHG15 as a potentially oncogenic lncRNA that encodes a snoRNA in one of its introns. The processed SNHG15 is overexpressed in CRC tumors and its expression is highly correlated with poor survival of patients. Interestingly, SNHG15 is more highly expressed in tumors with high levels of MYC expression, while MYC protein binds to two E-box motifs on SNHG15 sequence, indicating that SNHG15 transcription is directly regulated by the oncogene MYC. The depletion of SNHG15 by siRNA or CRISPR-Cas9 inhibits cell proliferation and invasion, decreases colony formation as well as the tumorigenic capacity of CRC cells, whereas its overexpression leads to opposite effects. Gene expression analysis performed upon SNHG15 inhibition showed changes in multiple relevant genes implicated in cancer progression, including MYC, NRAS, BAG3 or ERBB3. Several of these genes are functionally related to AIF, a protein that we found to specifically interact with SNHG15, suggesting that the SNHG15 acts, at least in part, by regulating the activity of AIF. Interestingly, ROS levels, which are directly regulated by AIF, show a significant reduction in SNHG15-depleted cells. Moreover, knockdown of SNHG15 increases the sensitiveness of the cells to 5-FU, while its overexpression renders them more resistant to the chemotherapeutic drug.
CONCLUSION: Altogether, these results describe an important role of SNHG15 in promoting colon cancer and mediating drug resistance, suggesting its potential as prognostic marker and target for RNA-based therapies.
Multimodal single-cell assays provide high-resolution snapshots of complex cell populations, but are mostly limited to transcriptome plus an additional modality. Here, we describe expanded CRISPR-compatible cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing (ECCITE-seq) for the high-throughput characterization of at least five modalities of information from each single cell. We demonstrate application of ECCITE-seq to multimodal CRISPR screens with robust direct single-guide RNA capture and to clonotype-aware multimodal phenotyping of cancer samples.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Tumor suppressor genes remain to be systemically identified for lung cancer. Through the genome-wide screening of tumor-suppressive transcription factors, we demonstrate here that GATA4 functions as an essential tumor suppressor in lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. Ectopic GATA4 expression results in lung cancer cell senescence. Mechanistically, GATA4 upregulates multiple miRNAs targeting TGFB2 mRNA and causes ensuing WNT7B downregulation and eventually triggers cell senescence. Decreased GATA4 level in clinical specimens negatively correlates with WNT7B or TGF-β2 level and is significantly associated with poor prognosis. TGFBR1 inhibitors show synergy with existing therapeutics in treating GATA4-deficient lung cancers in genetically engineered mouse model as well as patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models. Collectively, our work demonstrates that GATA4 functions as a tumor suppressor in lung cancer and targeting the TGF-β signaling provides a potential way for the treatment of GATA4-deficient lung cancer.
The SWI/SNF-family chromatin remodeling protein ATRX is a tumor suppressor in sarcomas, gliomas and other malignancies. Its loss of function facilitates the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway in tumor cells, while it also affects Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) silencing of its target genes. To further define the role of inactivating ATRX mutations in carcinogenesis, we knocked out atrx in our previously reported p53/nf1-deficient zebrafish line that develops malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and gliomas. Complete inactivation of atrx using CRISPR/Cas9 was lethal in developing fish and resulted in an alpha-thalassemia-like phenotype including reduced alpha-globin expression. In p53/nf1-deficient zebrafish neither peripheral nerve sheath tumors nor gliomas showed accelerated onset in atrx+/- fish, but these fish developed various tumors that were not observed in their atrx+/+ siblings, including epithelioid sarcoma, angiosarcoma, undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and rare types of carcinoma. These cancer types are included in the AACR Genie database of human tumors associated with mutant ATRX, indicating that our zebrafish model reliably mimics a role for ATRX-loss in the early pathogenesis of these human cancer types. RNA-seq of p53/nf1- and p53/nf1/atrx-deficient tumors revealed that down-regulation of telomerase accompanied ALT-mediated lengthening of the telomeres in atrx-mutant samples. Moreover, inactivating mutations in atrx disturbed PRC2-target gene silencing, indicating a connection between ATRX loss and PRC2 dysfunction in cancer development.
The competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) hypothesis suggests an intrinsic mechanism to regulate biological processes. However, whether the dynamic changes of ceRNAs can modulate miRNA activities remains controversial. Here, we examine the dynamics of ceRNAs during TGF-β-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We observe that TGFBI, a transcript highly induced during EMT in A549 cells, acts as the ceRNA for miR-21 to modulate EMT. We further identify FN1 as the ceRNA for miR-200c in the canonical SNAIL-ZEB-miR200 circuit in MCF10A cells. Experimental assays and computational simulations demonstrate that the dynamically induced ceRNAs are directly coupled with the canonical double negative feedback loops and are critical to the induction of EMT. These results help to establish the relevance of ceRNA in cancer EMT and suggest that ceRNA is an intrinsic component of the EMT regulatory circuit and may represent a potential target to disrupt EMT during tumorigenesis.
Clear-cell carcinomas (CCCs) are a histological group of highly aggressive malignancies commonly originating in the kidney and ovary. CCCs are distinguished by aberrant lipid and glycogen accumulation and are refractory to a broad range of anti-cancer therapies. Here we identify an intrinsic vulnerability to ferroptosis associated with the unique metabolic state in CCCs. This vulnerability transcends lineage and genetic landscape, and can be exploited by inhibiting glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) with small-molecules. Using CRISPR screening and lipidomic profiling, we identify the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway as a driver of this vulnerability. In renal CCCs, HIF-2α selectively enriches polyunsaturated lipids, the rate-limiting substrates for lipid peroxidation, by activating the expression of hypoxia-inducible, lipid droplet-associated protein (HILPDA). Our study suggests targeting GPX4 as a therapeutic opportunity in CCCs, and highlights that therapeutic approaches can be identified on the basis of cell states manifested by morphological and metabolic features in hard-to-treat cancers.
BACKGROUND: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), defined as the transcripts longer than 200 nt without protein-coding capacity, have been found to be aberrantly expressed in diverse human diseases including cancer. A reciprocal translocation between chromosome 9 and 22 generates the chimeric Bcr-Abl oncogene, which is associated with several hematological malignancies. However, the functional relevance between aberrantly expressed lncRNAs and Bcr-Abl-mediated leukemia remains obscure.
METHODS: LncRNA cDNA microarray was used to identify novel lncRNAs involved in Bcr-Abl-mediated cellular transformation. To study the functional relevance of novel imatinib-upregulated lncRNA (IUR) family in Abl-induced tumorigenesis, Abl-transformed cell survival and xenografted tumor growth in mice was evaluated. Primary bone marrow transformation and in vivo leukemia transplant using lncRNA-IUR knockdown (KD) transgenic mice were further conducted to corroborate the role of lncRNA-IUR in Abl-induced tumorigenesis. Transcriptome RNA-seq, Western blot, RNA pull down and RNA Immunoprecipitation (RIP) were employed to determine the mechanisms by which lncRNA-IUR-5 regulates Bcr-Abl-mediated tumorigenesis.
RESULTS: We identified a conserved lncRNA-IUR family as a key negative regulator of Bcr-Abl-induced tumorigenesis. Increased expression of lncRNA-IUR was detected in both human and mouse Abl-transformed cells upon imatinib treatment. In contrast, reduced expression of lncRNA-IUR was observed in the peripheral blood lymphocytes derived from Bcr-Abl-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients compared to normal subjects. Knockdown of lncRNA-IUR remarkably promoted Abl-transformed leukemic cell survival and xenografted tumor growth in mice, whereas overexpression of lncRNA-IUR had opposite effects. Also, silencing murine lncRNA-IUR promoted Bcr-Abl-mediated primary bone marrow transformation and Abl-transformed leukemia cell survival in vivo. Besides, knockdown of murine lncRNA-IUR in transgenic mice provided a favorable microenvironment for development of Abl-mediated leukemia. Finally, we demonstrated that lncRNA-IUR-5 suppressed Bcr-Abl-mediated tumorigenesis by negatively regulating STAT5-mediated expression of CD71.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that lncRNA-IUR may act as a critical tumor suppressor in Bcr-Abl-mediated tumorigenesis by suppressing the STAT5-CD71 pathway. This study provides new insights into functional involvement of lncRNAs in leukemogenesis.
B-cell lymphoma (BCL) is the most common hematologic malignancy. While sequencing studies gave insights into BCL genetics, identification of non-mutated cancer genes remains challenging. Here, we describe PiggyBac transposon tools and mouse models for recessive screening and show their application to study clonal B-cell lymphomagenesis. In a genome-wide screen, we discover BCL genes related to diverse molecular processes, including signaling, transcriptional regulation, chromatin regulation, or RNA metabolism. Cross-species analyses show the efficiency of the screen to pinpoint human cancer drivers altered by non-genetic mechanisms, including clinically relevant genes dysregulated epigenetically, transcriptionally, or post-transcriptionally in human BCL. We also describe a CRISPR/Cas9-based in vivo platform for BCL functional genomics, and validate discovered genes, such as Rfx7, a transcription factor, and Phip, a chromatin regulator, which suppress lymphomagenesis in mice. Our study gives comprehensive insights into the molecular landscapes of BCL and underlines the power of genome-scale screening to inform biology.
The TFIIH subunit XPB is involved in combined Xeroderma Pigmentosum and Cockayne syndrome (XP-B/CS). Our analyses reveal that XPB interacts functionally with KAT2A, a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) that belongs to the hSAGA and hATAC complexes. XPB interacts with KAT2A-containing complexes on chromatin and an XP-B/CS mutation specifically elicits KAT2A-mediated large-scale chromatin decondensation. In XP-B/CS cells, the abnormal recruitment of TFIIH and KAT2A to chromatin causes inappropriate acetylation of histone H3K9, leading to aberrant formation of transcription initiation complexes on the promoters of several hundred genes and their subsequent overexpression. Significantly, this cascade of events is similarly sensitive to KAT2A HAT inhibition or to the rescue with wild-type XPB. In agreement, the XP-B/CS mutation increases KAT2A HAT activity in vitro. Our results unveil a tight connection between TFIIH and KAT2A that controls higher-order chromatin structure and gene expression and provide new insights into transcriptional misregulation in a cancer-prone DNA repair-deficient disorder.
Lys-27-Met mutations in histone 3 genes (H3K27M) characterize a subgroup of deadly gliomas and decrease genome-wide H3K27 trimethylation. Here we use primary H3K27M tumor lines and isogenic CRISPR-edited controls to assess H3K27M effects in vitro and in vivo. We find that whereas H3K27me3 and H3K27me2 are normally deposited by PRC2 across broad regions, their deposition is severely reduced in H3.3K27M cells. H3K27me3 is unable to spread from large unmethylated CpG islands, while H3K27me2 can be deposited outside these PRC2 high-affinity sites but to levels corresponding to H3K27me3 deposition in wild-type cells. Our findings indicate that PRC2 recruitment and propagation on chromatin are seemingly unaffected by K27M, which mostly impairs spread of the repressive marks it catalyzes, especially H3K27me3. Genome-wide loss of H3K27me3 and me2 deposition has limited transcriptomic consequences, preferentially affecting lowly-expressed genes regulating neurogenesis. Removal of H3K27M restores H3K27me2/me3 spread, impairs cell proliferation, and completely abolishes their capacity to form tumors in mice.
BACKGROUND: Large-scale genetic screening using CRISPR-Cas9 technology has emerged as a powerful approach to uncover and validate gene functions. The ability to control the timing of genetic perturbation during CRISPR screens will facilitate precise dissection of dynamic and complex biological processes. Here, we report the optimization of a drug-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system that allows high-throughput gene interrogation with a temporal control.
RESULTS: We designed multiple drug-inducible sgRNA expression vectors and measured their activities using an EGFP gene disruption assay in 11 human and mouse cell lines. The optimal design allows for a tight and inducible control of gene knockout in vitro, and in vivo during a seven-week-long experiment following hematopoietic reconstitution in mice. We next performed parallel genome-wide loss-of-function screens using the inducible and constitutive CRISPR-Cas9 systems. In proliferation-based dropout screens, these two approaches have similar performance in discriminating essential and nonessential genes. In a more challenging phenotypic assay that requires cytokine stimulation and cell staining, we observed similar sensitivity of the constitutive and drug-induced screening approaches in detecting known hits. Importantly, we demonstrate minimal leakiness of our inducible CRISPR screening platforms in the absence of chemical inducers in large-scale settings.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we have developed a drug-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system that shows high cleavage efficiency upon induction but low background activity. Using this system, we have achieved inducible gene disruption in a wide range of cell types both in vitro and in vivo. For the first time, we present a systematic side-by-side comparison of constitutive and drug-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 platforms in large-scale functional screens. We demonstrate the tightness and efficiency of our drug-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system in genome-wide pooled screening. Our design increases the versatility of CRISPR-based genetic screening and represents a significant upgrade on existing functional genomics toolbox.
Xiang X, Luo L, Nodzyński M, et al.LION: a simple and rapid method to achieve CRISPR gene editing.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019; 76(13):2633-2645 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9 technology has paved the way for rapid and cost-effective gene editing. However, there is still a great need for effective methods for rapid generation and validation of CRISPR/Cas9 gRNAs. Previously, we have demonstrated that highly efficient generation of multiplexed CRISPR guide RNA (gRNA) expression array can be achieved with Golden Gate Assembly (GGA). Here, we present an optimized and rapid method for generation and validation in less than 1 day of CRISPR gene targeting vectors. The method (LION) is based on ligation of double-stranded gRNA oligos into CRISPR vectors with GGA followed by nucleic acid purification. Using a dual-fluorescent reporter vector (C-Check), T7E1 assay, TIDE assay and a traffic light reporter assay, we proved that the LION-based generation of CRISPR vectors are functionally active, and equivalent to CRISPR plasmids generated by traditional methods. We also tested the activity of LION CRISPR vectors in different human cell types. The LION method presented here advances the rapid functional validation and application of CRISPR system for gene editing and simplified the CRISPR gene-editing procedures.
BACKGROUND: Analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is promising for broad applications in clinical settings, but with significant bias towards late-stage cancers. Although recent studies have discussed the diverse and degraded nature of cfDNA molecules, little is known about its impact on the practice of cfDNA analysis.
METHODS: We developed single-strand library preparation and hybrid-capture-based cfDNA sequencing (SLHC-seq) to analysis degraded cfDNA fragments. Next we used SLHC-seq to perform cfDNA profiling in 112 pancreatic cancer patients, and the results were compared with 13 previous reports. Extensive analysis was performed in terms of cfDNA fragments to explore the reasons for higher detection rate of KRAS mutations in the circulation of pancreatic cancers.
FINDINGS: By applying the new approach, we achieved higher efficiency in analysis of mutations than previously reported using other detection assays. 791 cancer-specific mutations were detected in plasma of 88% patients with KRAS hotspots detected in 70% of all patients. Only 8 mutations were detected in 28 healthy controls without any known oncogenic or truncating alleles. cfDNA profiling by SLHC-seq was largely consistent with results of tissue-based sequencing. SLHC-seq rescued short or damaged cfDNA fragments along to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of circulating-tumour DNA detection.
INTERPRETATION: We found that the small mutant fragments are prevalent in early-stage patients, which provides strong evidence for fragment size-based detection of pancreatic cancer. The new pipeline enhanced our understanding of cfDNA biology and provide new insights for liquid biopsy.
Three recent studies by Ishizuka et al. (2019), Liu et al. (2019), and Gannon et al. (2018) show that deleting RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 could induce higher cell lethality and render tumor cells more vulnerable to immunotherapy, pinpointing ADAR1 as a new immuno-oncology target.
Ma Y, Lai W, Zhao M, et al.Plastin 3 down-regulation augments the sensitivity of MDA-MB-231 cells to paclitaxel via the p38 MAPK signalling pathway.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):685-695 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Plastin 3 (PLS3) overexpression may serve as a marker for predicting chemotherapeutic outcomes in drug-resistant cancer cells, but the mechanism is unclear. Herein, we show that the down-regulation of PLS3 by PLS3 gene silencing augments the sensitivity of MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer cells to paclitaxel. Interestingly, a low concentration of paclitaxel was able to induce strong apoptosis in the PLS3-silenced cells. Further study revealed that p38 MAPK signalling was responsible for the increased sensitivity to paclitaxel in these cells, as the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 impaired the changes mediated by PLS3 down-regulation in response to paclitaxel. Therefore, our study identifies PLS3 as a potential target for enhancing the p38 MAPK-mediated apoptosis induced by paclitaxel. Unlike paclitaxel, Abraxane was unable to induce strong apoptosis in the PLS3-silenced cells. As PLS3 was found to be involved in the process of endocytosis in breast cancer cells, the reliance of cellular Abraxane uptake on this process may render it not as efficient as paclitaxel in PLS3-depleted tumour cells. The finding that PLS3 could be a critical regulator of paclitaxel sensitivity may have important implications for breast cancer chemotherapy.
6-Phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGD) is a key enzyme that converts 6-phosphogluconate into ribulose-5-phosphate with NADP
Zhao R, Kaakati R, Liu X, et al.CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated BRCA1 Knockdown Adipose Stem Cells Promote Breast Cancer Progression.
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019; 143(3):747-756 [PubMed
] Article available free on PMC
after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The tumor microenvironment within the breast is rich in adipose elements. The interaction between adipose cells and breast cancer is poorly understood, particularly as it pertains to patients with genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. This study focuses on the phenotype of human adipose-derived stem cells with the BRCA1 mutation and the effect they may have on breast cancer cell behavior.
METHODS: CRISPR/Cas9 was used to generate de novo BRCA1-knockdown human adipose-derived stem cells. The effect of the BRCA1 knockdown on the adipose-derived stem cell phenotype was compared to wild-type adipose-derived stem cells and patient-derived breast adipose-derived stem cells with known BRCA1 mutations. Interactions between adipose-derived stem cells and the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line were evaluated.
RESULTS: BRCA1-knockdown adipose-derived stem cells stimulated MDA-MB-231 proliferation (1.4-fold increase on day 4; p = 0.0074) and invasion (2.3-fold increase on day 2; p = 0.0171) compared to wild-type cells. Immunofluorescence staining revealed higher levels of phosphorylated ataxia telangiectasia-mutated activation in BRCA1-knockdown cells (72.9 ± 5.32 percent versus 42.9 ± 4.97 percent; p = 0.0147), indicating higher levels of DNA damage. Beta-galactosidase staining demonstrated a significantly higher level of senescence in BRCA1-knockdown cells compared with wild-type cells (7.9 ± 0.25 percent versus 0.17 ± 0.17 percent; p < 0.0001). Using quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to evaluate conditioned media, the authors found significantly higher levels of interleukin-8 in BRCA1-knockdown cells (2.57 ± 0.32-fold; p = 0.0049).
CONCLUSIONS: The authors show for the first time that the BRCA1 mutation affects the adipose-derived stem cell phenotype. Moreover, CRISPR/Cas9-generated BRCA1-knockdown adipose-derived stem cells stimulate a more aggressive behavior in breast cancer cells than wild-type adipose-derived stem cells. This appears to be related to increased inflammatory cytokine production by means of a DNA damage-mediated cell senescence pathway.
Zhang F, Liang D, Lin X, et al.NDRG1 facilitates the replication and persistence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus by interacting with the DNA polymerase clamp PCNA.
PLoS Pathog. 2019; 15(2):e1007628 [PubMed
] Article available free on PMC
after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) latently infects host cells and establishes lifelong persistence as an extra-chromosomal episome in the nucleus. To persist in proliferating cells, the viral genome typically replicates once per cell cycle and is distributed into daughter cells. This process involves host machinery utilized by KSHV, however the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. In present study, we found that N-Myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), a cellular gene known to be non-detectable in primary B cells and endothelial cells which are the major cell types for KSHV infection in vivo, was highly upregulated by KSHV in these cells. We further demonstrated that the high expression of NDRG1 was regulated by latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA), the major viral latent protein which tethers the viral genome to host chromosome and plays an essential role in viral genome maintenance. Surprisingly, knockdown of NDRG1 in KSHV latently infected cells resulted in a significant decrease of viral genome copy number in these cells. Interestingly, NDRG1 can directly interact with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a cellular protein which functions as a DNA polymerase clamp during DNA replication. Intriguingly, we found that NDRG1 forms a complex with LANA and PCNA and serves as a scaffold protein bridging these two proteins. We further demonstrated that NDRG1 is critical for mediating LANA to recruit PCNA onto terminal repeat (TR) of KSHV genome, and facilitates viral DNA replication and episome persistence. Taken together, our findings suggest that NDRG1 plays an important role in KSHV viral genome replication, and provide new clues for understanding of KSHV persistence.
Litschko C, Brühmann S, Csiszár A, et al.Functional integrity of the contractile actin cortex is safeguarded by multiple Diaphanous-related formins.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(9):3594-3603 [PubMed
] Article available free on PMC
after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
The contractile actin cortex is a thin layer of filamentous actin, myosin motors, and regulatory proteins beneath the plasma membrane crucial to cytokinesis, morphogenesis, and cell migration. However, the factors regulating actin assembly in this compartment are not well understood. Using the