There is a critical need in cancer therapeutics to identify targeted therapies that will improve outcomes and decrease toxicities compared to conventional, cytotoxic chemotherapy. Ewing sarcoma is a highly aggressive bone and soft tissue cancer that is caused by the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein. Although EWS-FLI1 is specific for cancer cells, and required for tumorigenesis, directly targeting this transcription factor has proven challenging. Consequently, targeting unique dependencies or key downstream mediators of EWS-FLI1 represent important alternative strategies. We used gene expression data derived from a genetically defined model of Ewing sarcoma to interrogate the Connectivity Map and identify a class of drugs, iron chelators, that downregulate a significant number of EWS-FLI1 target genes. We then identified ribonucleotide reductase M2 (RRM2), the iron-dependent subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), as one mediator of iron chelator toxicity in Ewing sarcoma cells. Inhibition of RNR in Ewing sarcoma cells led to apoptosis and cell death in vitro and attenuated tumor growth in vivo in a xenograft model. Additionally, we discovered that the sensitivity of Ewing sarcoma cells to inhibition or suppression of RNR is mediated, in part, by high levels of SLFN11, a protein that sensitizes cells to DNA damage. This work demonstrates a unique dependency of Ewing sarcoma cells on RNR and supports further exploration of clinically used inhibitors of RNR as a therapeutic approach in treating this cancer.
Gene expression signature based screening identifies ribonucleotide reductase as a candidate therapeutic target in Ewing sarcoma.
Specimen part, Cell line, TreatmentView Samples
Experiments performed over the past three decades have shown that nucleosomes are transcriptional repressors. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, depletion of histone H4 results in the genome-wide transcriptional de-repression of hundreds genes. The mechanism of de-repression is hypothesized to be rooted directly in chromatin changes. To test this, we reproduced classical H4 depletion experiments by conditional repression of all histone H3 transcription, which depletes the supply of nucleosomes in vivo. RNA-seq results were consistent with the earlier studies, but much more sensitive, revealing nearly 2500 de-repressed genes. Changes in chromatin organization were determined by MNase-seq. Nucleosomes that were preferentially retained occurred in regions of high DNA-encoded nucleosome affinity, and were marked with H3K36me2, which is linked to transcription elongation. Nucleosomes harboring acetyl marks or that contained the variant histone H2A.z were preferentially lost. Genes that were de-repressed lost or rearranged nucleosomes at their promoter, but not in the gene body. Therefore, a combination of DNA-encoded nucleosome stability and nucleosome composition dictates which nucleosomes will be lost under conditions of limiting histone protein. This, in turn, governs which genes will experience a loss of regulatory fidelity. Overall design: MNase-seq experiments consist of three wildtype (1 single-end and 2 paired-end) and four mutant (DCB200.1/H3 shutoff; 2 single-end, 2 paired-end) replicates. Each replicate contains two timepoints reflecting chromatin immediately after ("O hours") and 3 hours after transition to media containing dextrose. RNA-seq data includes three replicates from wildtype or H3 depleted cells after 3 hours in media containing dextrose.
In vivo effects of histone H3 depletion on nucleosome occupancy and position in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Cell line, Subject, TimeView Samples
Huntington disease (HD) is associated with increased nuclear accumulation of the repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) which govens a huge gene network. An alternative REST splicing event (E3) eliminates a motif essential for nuclear targeting of REST.
Modulation of nuclear REST by alternative splicing: a potential therapeutic target for Huntington's disease.
Cell line, TreatmentView Samples
Mechanical overload in the heart induces pathological remodeling that typcially leads to heart failure. We sought to build an in vitro model of heart failure by applying cyclic stretch to engineered isotropic (iso) and anisotropic (aniso) NRVM tissues.
Recapitulating maladaptive, multiscale remodeling of failing myocardium on a chip.
Specimen partView Samples
Interaction of hematopoietic progenitors with the thymic stromal microenvironment induces them to proliferate, adopt the T cell fate, and asymmetrically diverge into multiple T lineages. Progenitors at various developmental stages are stratified among different regions of the thymus, implying that the corresponding microenvironments differ from one another, and provide unique sets of signals to progenitors migrating between them. The nature of these differences remains undefined. Here we use novel physical and computational approaches to characterize these stromal subregions, distinguishing gene expression in microdissected tissues from that of their lymphoid constituents. Using this approach, we comprehensively map gene expression in functionally distinct stromal microenvironments, and identify clusters of genes that define each region. Quite unexpectedly, we find that the central cortex lacks distinctive features of its own, and instead appears to function by sequestering unique microenvironments found at the cortical extremities, and modulating the relative proximity of progenitors moving between them.
Spatial mapping of thymic stromal microenvironments reveals unique features influencing T lymphoid differentiation.
Specimen partView Samples
Although mutations in Kras are present in 21% of lung tumors, there is a high level of heterogeneity in phenotype and outcomes amongst lung cancer patients suggesting the importance of other pathways. Wnt/-catenin signaling is a known oncogenic pathway that plays a well defined role in colon and skin cancer but its role in lung cancer remains unclear. We show that activation of Wnt/-catenin in the bronchiolar epithelium of the adult lung does not promote tumor development by itself. However, activation of Wnt/- catenin signaling leads to a dramatic increase in tumor formation both in overall tumor number and size compared to KrasG12D alone. We show that activation of Wnt/- catenin signaling significantly alters the KrasG12D tumor phenotype resulting in a phenotypic switch from bronchiolar epithelium to the highly proliferative distal progenitors found in the embryonic lung. This is associated with a decrease in E- cadherin expression at the cell surface which may increase metastasis in Wnt/-catenin signaling positive tumors. Together, these data suggest that activation of Wnt/-catenin signaling in combination with other oncogenic pathways in lung epithelium may lead to a more aggressive phenotype due to the imposition of an embryonic distal progenitor phenotype accompanied by decreased E-cadherin expression.
Wnt/β-catenin signaling accelerates mouse lung tumorigenesis by imposing an embryonic distal progenitor phenotype on lung epithelium.
Sex, Age, Specimen partView Samples
Austism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous behavioral disease most commonly characterized by severe impairment of social engagement and the presence of repetitive activities. The molecular etiology of ASD is still largely unknown despite a strong genetic component. Part of the difficulty in turning genetics into disease mechanisms and potentially new therapeutics is the sheer number and diversity of the genes that have been associated with ASD and ASD symptoms. The goal of this work is to use shRNA-generated models of genetic defects proposed as causative for ASD to identify the common pathways that might explain how they produce a common clinical outcome. Transcript levels of Mecp2, Mef2a, Mef2d, Fmr1, Nlgn1, Nlgn3, Pten, and Shank3 were knocked-down in mouse primary neuron cultures using shRNA/lentivirus constructs. Whole genome expression analysis was conducted for each of the knock-down cultures as well as a mock-transduced culture and a culture exposed to a lentivirus expressing luciferase. Gene set enrichment and a causal reasoning engine were employed to indentify pathway level perturbations generated by the transcript knock-down. Quantitation of the shRNA targets confirmed the successful knock-down at the transcript and protein levels of at least 75% for each of the genes. After subtracting out potential artifacts caused by transfection and viral infection, gene set enrichment and causal reasoning engine analysis showed that a significant number of gene expression changes mapped to pathways associated with neurogenesis, long-term potentiation, and synaptic activity. This work demonstrates that despite the complex genetic nature of ASD, there are common molecular mechanisms that connect many of the best established autism candidate genes. By identifying the key regulatory checkpoints in the interlinking transcriptional networks underlying autism, we are better able to discover the ideal points of intervention that provide the broadest efficacy across the diverse population of autism patients.
Transcriptomic analysis of genetically defined autism candidate genes reveals common mechanisms of action.
Specimen part, TreatmentView Samples
Human peripheral blood monocytes (Mo) consist of subsets distinguished by expression of CD16 (FCGRIII) and chemokine receptors. Classical CD16- Mo express CCR2 and migrate in response to CCL2, while a minor CD16+ Mo subset expresses CX3CR1 and migrates into tissues expressing CX3CL1. CD16+ Mo produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and are expanded in certain inflammatory conditions including HIV infection.
Transcriptional profiling reveals developmental relationship and distinct biological functions of CD16+ and CD16- monocyte subsets.
Specimen partView Samples
Molecular mechanisms of cell cycle exit are poorly understood. A group of genes required for cell cycle exit and maintenance of cell quiescence in human fibroblasts following serum deprivation has been recently identified. Studies on lymphocytes following growth factor deprivation-induced cell cycle exit have predominantly focused on the initiation of apoptosis. A set of genes involved in lymphocyte quiescence have also been identified among genes highly expressed in resting lymphocytes and down-regulated after cell activation. In our study, proliferating IL-2-dependent human T cells were forced to exit cell cycle by growth factor withdrawal, and their gene expression profiles were examined.
Molecular signature of cell cycle exit induced in human T lymphoblasts by IL-2 withdrawal.
No sample metadata fieldsView Samples
This SuperSeries is composed of the SubSeries listed below.
Linking proteomic and transcriptional data through the interactome and epigenome reveals a map of oncogene-induced signaling.
Specimen part, Cell lineView Samples