Matching Items (51)

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Characterizing the Mechanism of Action of a Potential Targeted Therapy, Triptolide, in Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary

Description

Small cell carcinoma of the ovary (SCCOHT) is a rare ovarian cancer affecting young women and characterized by mutation in SMARCA4 and silencing of SMARCA2, two tumor suppressors that function as ATPases in the SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex.

Small cell carcinoma of the ovary (SCCOHT) is a rare ovarian cancer affecting young women and characterized by mutation in SMARCA4 and silencing of SMARCA2, two tumor suppressors that function as ATPases in the SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex. SCCOHT patients face a 5-year survival rate of only 26%, but recently we have identified sensitivity of SCCOHT models to a natural product, triptolide. This study aims to ascertain the mechanism of action of triptolide. Previous SCCOHT epigenetic drug research has shown that some drugs reverse SMARCA2 epigenetic silencing to inhibit tumor growth, therefore it is hypothesized that triptolide acts the same and restores SWI/SNF function. Cells treated with triptolide have no change in SMARCA2 expression, suggesting that re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor gene does not underlie its mechanism of action. Growth rates following triptolide treatment were observed in the presence and absence of SMARCA4, but no difference in sensitivity was observed. Thus, it is not likely that triptolide acts by restoring SWI/SNF. Others have observed that triptolide acts on xeroderma pigmentosa type B protein (XPB), a component of super-enhancers, which are DNA regions with high levels of transcription that regulate genes responsible for cell identity and oncogenes driving tumorigenesis. Both SCCOHT-1 and BIN67 cell lines treated with triptolide displayed lower expression of the super-enhancer associated MYC oncogene compared to untreated cells, supporting the theory that triptolide could be inhibiting super-enhancers regulating oncogenes.. A western blot confirmed reduced protein levels of RNA polymerase II and bromodomain 4 (BRD4), two essential components found at high levels at super-enhancers, in BIN67 cells treated with triptolide. ChIP-sequencing of Histone H3 Lysine-27 Acetylation (H3K27ac) marks in BIN67 and SCCOHT-1 cell lines identified super-enhancers in SCCOHT using tools CREAM and ROSE, which were mapped to neighboring genes associated genes and compared with the COSMIC database to identify oncogenes, of which the top 11 were examined by qRT-PCR to ascertain whether triptolide reduces their expression. It has been found that 6 out of 11 of the oncogenes examined (SALL4, MYC, SGK1, HIST1H3B, HMGA2, and CALR) decreased in expression when treated with triptolide. Thus, there is reason to believe that triptolide’s mechanism of action is via inhibition of super-enhancers that regulate oncogene expression.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Improving the Valley Fever Gene Annotation Through Proteogenomic Analysis

Description

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a respiratory disease that affects 10,000 people annually, primarily in Arizona and California. Due to a lack of gene annotation, diagnosis and treatment of Valley Fever is severely limited. In turn, gene annotation

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a respiratory disease that affects 10,000 people annually, primarily in Arizona and California. Due to a lack of gene annotation, diagnosis and treatment of Valley Fever is severely limited. In turn, gene annotation efforts are also hampered by incomplete genome sequencing. We intend to use proteogenomic analysis to reannotate the Coccidioides posadasii str. Silveira genome from protein-level data. Protein samples extracted from both phases of Silveira were fragmented into peptides, sequenced, and compared against databases of known and predicted proteins sequences, as well as a de novo six-frame translation of the genome. 288 unique peptides were located that did not match a known Silveira annotation, and of those 169 were associated with another Coccidioides strain. Additionally, 17 peptides were found at the boundary of, or outside of, the current gene annotation comprising four distinct clusters. For one of these clusters, we were able to calculate a lower bound and an estimate for the size of the gap between two Silveira contigs using the Coccidioides immitis RS transcript associated with that cluster's peptides \u2014 these predictions were consistent with the current annotation's scaffold structure. Three peptides were associated with an actively translated transposon, and a putative active site was located within an intact LTR retrotransposon. We note that gene annotation is necessarily hindered by the quality and level of detail in prior genome sequencing efforts, and recommend that future studies involving reannotation include additional sequencing as well as gene annotation via proteogenomics or other methods.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Characterization of Exosomes In Pediatric Cancer Cells

Description

Exosomes have been known to secrete an increased amount of miRNA and noncoding genes that are abnormally expressed in various cancer subtypes. Thus, they may be an early marker for pediatric cancer types that are more difficult to diagnosis without

Exosomes have been known to secrete an increased amount of miRNA and noncoding genes that are abnormally expressed in various cancer subtypes. Thus, they may be an early marker for pediatric cancer types that are more difficult to diagnosis without invasive techniques, and may also help identify progression of the disease. In the project, six types of pediatric cancer cell lines, along with their extracted exosomes, were analyzed and tested for different monoclonal antibodies through western blot analysis. The genes EWS-FLI1 and FGFR4 were also identified in some cancer cell lines through Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction analysis (RT-PCR). The results were indicative of similar protein markers being found in both the originating cells and their corresponding exosomes.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Expression of Quiescin Sulfhydryl Oxidase 1 is Associated With a Highly Invasive Phenotype and Correlates With a Poor Prognosis in Luminal B Breast Cancer

Description

Introduction: Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) oxidizes sulfhydryl groups to form disulfide bonds in proteins. Tumor specific expression of QSOX1 has been reported for numerous tumor types. In this study, we investigate QSOX1 as a marker of breast tumor progression and

Introduction: Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) oxidizes sulfhydryl groups to form disulfide bonds in proteins. Tumor specific expression of QSOX1 has been reported for numerous tumor types. In this study, we investigate QSOX1 as a marker of breast tumor progression and evaluate the role of QSOX1 as it relates to breast tumor growth and metastasis.

Methods: Correlation of QSOX1 expression with breast tumor grade, subtype and estrogen receptor (ER) status was gathered through informatic analysis using the "Gene expression based Outcome for Breast cancer Online" (GOBO) web-based tool. Expression of QSOX1 protein in breast tumors tissue microarray (TMA) and in a panel of breast cancer cell lines was used to confirm our informatics analysis. To investigate malignant cell mechanisms for which QSOX1 might play a key role, we suppressed QSOX1 protein expression using short hairpin (sh) RNA in ER+ Luminal A-like MCF7, ER+ Luminal B-like BT474 and ER- Basal-like BT549 breast cancer cell lines.

Results: GOBO analysis revealed high levels of QSOX1 RNA expression in ER+ subtypes of breast cancer. In addition, Kaplan Meyer analyses revealed QSOX1 RNA as a highly significant predictive marker for both relapse and poor overall survival in Luminal B tumors. We confirmed this finding by evaluation of QSOX1 protein expression in breast tumors and in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Expression of QSOX1 in breast tumors correlates with increasing tumor grade and high Ki-67 expression. Suppression of QSOX1 protein slowed cell proliferation as well as dramatic inhibition of MCF7, BT474 and BT549 breast tumor cells from invading through Matrigel™ in a modified Boyden chamber assay. Inhibition of invasion could be rescued by the exogenous addition of recombinant QSOX1. Gelatin zymography indicated that QSOX1 plays an important role in the function of MMP-9, a key mediator of breast cancer invasive behavior.

Conclusions: Taken together, our results suggest that QSOX1 is a novel biomarker for risk of relapse and poor survival in Luminal B breast cancer, and has a pro-proliferative and pro-invasive role in malignant progression partly mediated through a decrease in MMP-9 functional activity.

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Created

Date Created
2013-03-28

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Cancer of the Ampulla of Vater: Analysis of the Whole Genome Sequence Exposes a Potential Therapeutic Vulnerability

Description

Background: Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have focused on targeting genomic aberrations with selective therapeutic agents. In rare tumors, where large-scalec linical trials are daunting, this targeted genomic approach offers a new perspective and hope for improved treatments. Cancers

Background: Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have focused on targeting genomic aberrations with selective therapeutic agents. In rare tumors, where large-scalec linical trials are daunting, this targeted genomic approach offers a new perspective and hope for improved treatments. Cancers of the ampulla of Vater are rare tumors that comprise only about 0.2% of gastrointestinal cancers. Consequently, they are often treated as either distal common bile duct or pancreatic cancers.

Methods: We analyzed DNA from a resected cancer of the ampulla of Vater and whole blood DNAfrom a 63 year-old man who underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy by whole genomesequencing, achieving 37× and 40× coverage, respectively. We determined somatic mutations and structural alterations.

Results: We identified relevant aberrations, including deleterious mutations of KRAS and SMAD4 as well as a homozygous focal deletion of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. These findings suggest that these tumors have a distinct oncogenesis from either common bile duct cancer or pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, this combination of genomic aberrations suggests a therapeutic context for dual mTOR/PI3K inhibition.

Conclusions: Whole genome sequencing can elucidate an oncogenic context and expose potential therapeutic vulnerabilities in rare cancers.

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Created

Date Created
2012-07-04

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Ebselen Inhibits QSOX1 Enzymatic Activity and Suppresses Invasion of Pancreatic and Renal Cancer Cell Lines

Description

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that is overexpressed in diverse tumor types. Its enzymatic activity promotes the growth and invasion of tumor cells and alters extracellular matrix composition. In a nude mouse-human tumor

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that is overexpressed in diverse tumor types. Its enzymatic activity promotes the growth and invasion of tumor cells and alters extracellular matrix composition. In a nude mouse-human tumor xenograft model, tumors containing shRNA for QSOX1 grew significantly more slowly than controls, suggesting that QSOX1 supports a proliferative phenotype in vivo. High throughput screening experiments identified ebselen as an in vitro inhibitor of QSOX1 enzymatic activity. Ebselen treatment of pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines stalled tumor growth and inhibited invasion through Matrigel in vitro. Daily oral treatment with ebselen resulted in a 58% reduction in tumor growth in mice bearing human pancreatic tumor xenografts compared to controls. Mass spectrometric analysis of ebselen-treated QSOX1 mechanistically revealed that C165 and C237 of QSOX1 covalently bound to ebselen. This report details the anti-neoplastic properties of ebselen in pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines. The results here offer a “proof-of-principle” that enzymatic inhibition of QSOX1 may have clinical relevancy.

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Created

Date Created
2015-06-01

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Dynamic Reprogramming of DNA Methylation in SETD2-Deregulated Renal Cell Carcinoma

Description

Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) harbor frequent mutations in epigenetic modifiers including SETD2, the H3K36me3 writer. We profiled DNA methylation (5mC) across the genome in cell line-based models of SETD2 inactivation and SETD2 mutant primary tumors because 5mC has

Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) harbor frequent mutations in epigenetic modifiers including SETD2, the H3K36me3 writer. We profiled DNA methylation (5mC) across the genome in cell line-based models of SETD2 inactivation and SETD2 mutant primary tumors because 5mC has been linked to H3K36me3 and is therapeutically targetable. SETD2 depleted cell line models (long-term and acute) exhibited a DNA hypermethylation phenotype coinciding with ectopic gains in H3K36me3 centered across intergenic regions adjacent to low expressing genes, which became upregulated upon dysregulation of the epigenome. Poised enhancers of developmental genes were prominent hypermethylation targets. SETD2 mutant primary ccRCCs, papillary renal cell carcinomas, and lung adenocarcinomas all demonstrated a DNA hypermethylation phenotype that segregated tumors by SETD2 genotype and advanced grade. These findings collectively demonstrate that SETD2 mutations drive tumorigenesis by coordinated disruption of the epigenome and transcriptome,and they have important implications for future therapeutic strategies targeting chromatin regulator mutant tumors.

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Created

Date Created
2015-12-05

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Genome-Wide Characterization of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Patients Using Next Generation Sequencing

Description

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is among the most lethal malignancies. While research has implicated multiple genes in disease pathogenesis, identification of therapeutic leads has been difficult and the majority of currently available therapies provide only marginal benefit. To address this issue,

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is among the most lethal malignancies. While research has implicated multiple genes in disease pathogenesis, identification of therapeutic leads has been difficult and the majority of currently available therapies provide only marginal benefit. To address this issue, our goal was to genomically characterize individual PAC patients to understand the range of aberrations that are occurring in each tumor. Because our understanding of PAC tumorigenesis is limited, evaluation of separate cases may reveal aberrations, that are less common but may provide relevant information on the disease, or that may represent viable therapeutic targets for the patient. We used next generation sequencing to assess global somatic events across 3 PAC patients to characterize each patient and to identify potential targets. This study is the first to report whole genome sequencing (WGS) findings in paired tumor/normal samples collected from 3 separate PAC patients. We generated on average 132 billion mappable bases across all patients using WGS, and identified 142 somatic coding events including point mutations, insertion/deletions, and chromosomal copy number variants. We did not identify any significant somatic translocation events. We also performed RNA sequencing on 2 of these patients' tumors for which tumor RNA was available to evaluate expression changes that may be associated with somatic events, and generated over 100 million mapped reads for each patient. We further performed pathway analysis of all sequencing data to identify processes that may be the most heavily impacted from somatic and expression alterations. As expected, the KRAS signaling pathway was the most heavily impacted pathway (P<0.05), along with tumor-stroma interactions and tumor suppressive pathways. While sequencing of more patients is needed, the high resolution genomic and transcriptomic information we have acquired here provides valuable information on the molecular composition of PAC and helps to establish a foundation for improved therapeutic selection.

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Created

Date Created
2012-10-10

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Prolonged Exposure of Primary Human Muscle Cells to Plasma Fatty Acids Associated With Obese Phenotype Induces Persistent Suppression of Muscle Mitochondrial ATP Synthase β Subunit

Description

Our previous studies show reduced abundance of the β-subunit of mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase (β-F1-ATPase) in skeletal muscle of obese individuals. The β-F1-ATPase forms the catalytic core of the ATP synthase, and it is critical for ATP production in muscle. The

Our previous studies show reduced abundance of the β-subunit of mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase (β-F1-ATPase) in skeletal muscle of obese individuals. The β-F1-ATPase forms the catalytic core of the ATP synthase, and it is critical for ATP production in muscle. The mechanism(s) impairing β-F1-ATPase metabolism in obesity, however, are not completely understood. First, we studied total muscle protein synthesis and the translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase in obese (BMI, 36±1 kg/m2) and lean (BMI, 22±1 kg/m2) subjects. Both total protein synthesis (0.044±0.006 vs 0.066±0.006%·h-1) and translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase (0.0031±0.0007 vs 0.0073±0.0004) were lower in muscle from the obese subjects when compared to the lean controls (P<0.05). We then evaluated these same responses in a primary cell culture model, and tested the specific hypothesis that circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) in obesity play a role in the responses observed in humans. The findings on total protein synthesis and translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase in primary myotubes cultured from a lean subject, and after exposure to NEFA extracted from serum of an obese subject, were similar to those obtained in humans. Among candidate microRNAs (i.e., non-coding RNAs regulating gene expression), we identified miR-127-5p in preventing the production of β-F1-ATPase. Muscle expression of miR-127-5p negatively correlated with β-F1-ATPase protein translation efficiency in humans (r = – 0.6744; P<0.01), and could be modeled in vitro by prolonged exposure of primary myotubes derived from the lean subject to NEFA extracted from the obese subject. On the other hand, locked nucleic acid inhibitor synthesized to target miR-127-5p significantly increased β-F1-ATPase translation efficiency in myotubes (0.6±0.1 vs 1.3±0.3, in control vs exposure to 50 nM inhibitor; P<0.05). Our experiments implicate circulating NEFA in obesity in suppressing muscle protein metabolism, and establish impaired β-F1-ATPase translation as an important consequence of obesity.

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Date Created
2016-08-17

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A Survey of Lectin Reactivity to Coccidioides in Infected Lung Tissue and Identification of Lectin-Binding Coccidioidal Glycoproteins

Description

Background: Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a respiratory disease that is caused by the soil-dwelling fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. Because fungal glycosylation patterns are distinct from mammalian glycosylation patterns, we hypothesized that certain lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) might have differential

Background: Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a respiratory disease that is caused by the soil-dwelling fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. Because fungal glycosylation patterns are distinct from mammalian glycosylation patterns, we hypothesized that certain lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) might have differential binding properties to coccidioidal glycoproteins, and therefore serve as a tool for the purification and characterization of these glycoproteins from patient specimens. Materials and Methods: To identify potential Coccidioides-binding lectins, lectin-based immunohistochemistry was performed using a panel of 21 lectins on lung tissue from human patients infected with Coccidioides. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) were used to confirm and test candidate Coccidioides-binding lectins for their ability to bind to proteins from antigen preparations of laboratory-grown Coccidioides. Inhibition IHC and ELISAs were used to confirm binding properties of these lectins. SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry were performed on eluates from coccidioidal antigen preparations run through lectin-affinity chromatography columns to characterize and identify lectin-binding coccidioidal glycoproteins. Results: Two GlcNAc-binding lectins, GSLII and sWGA, bound specifically to spherules and endospores in infected human lung tissue, and not to adjacent lung tissue. The binding of these lectins to both Coccidioides proteins in lung tissue and to coccidioidal antigen preparations was confirmed to have lectin-like characteristics. SDS-PAGE analysis of eluates from lectin-affinity chromatography demonstrated that GSLII and sWGA bind to coccidioidal glycoproteins. Mass spectrometric identification of the top ten lectin affinity-purified glycoproteins demonstrated that GSLII and sWGA share affinity to a common set of coccidioidal glycoproteins. Conclusion: This is the first report of lectins that bind specifically to Coccidioides spherules and endospores in infected humans. These lectins may have the potential to serve as tools for a better method of detection and diagnosis of Valley Fever.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05