One-hit effects in cancer: altered proteome of morphologically normal colon crypts in familial adenomatous polyposis.
ABSTRACT: We studied patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) because they are virtually certain to develop colon cancer, and because much is known about the causative APC gene. We hypothesized that the inherited heterozygous mutation itself leads to changes in the proteome of morphologically normal crypts and the proteins that changed may represent targets for preventive and therapeutic agents. We determined the differential protein expression of morphologically normal colon crypts of FAP patients versus those of individuals without the mutation, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and validation by two-dimensional gel Western blotting. Approximately 13% of 1,695 identified proteins were abnormally expressed in the morphologically normal crypts of APC mutation carriers, indicating that a colon crypt cell under the one-hit state is already abnormal. Many of the expression changes affect pathways consistent with the function of the APC protein, including apoptosis, cell adhesion, cell motility, cytoskeletal organization and biogenesis, mitosis, transcription, and oxidative stress response. Thus, heterozygosity for a mutant APC tumor suppressor gene alters the proteome of normal-appearing crypt cells in a gene-specific manner, consistent with a detectable one-hit event. These changes may represent the earliest biomarkers of colorectal cancer development, potentially leading to the identification of molecular targets for cancer prevention.
Project description:Here we compared the proteomes of primary fibroblast cultures derived from morphologically normal colonic mucosa of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients with those obtained from unaffected controls. The expression signature of about 19% of total fibroblast proteins separates FAP mutation carriers from unaffected controls (P < 0.01). More than 4,000 protein spots were quantified by 2D PAGE analysis, identifying 368 non-redundant proteins and 400 of their isoforms. Specifically, all three classes of cytoskeletal filaments and their regulatory proteins were altered as were oxidative stress response proteins. Given that FAP fibroblasts showed heightened sensitivity to transformation by KiMSV and SV40 including elevated levels of the p53 protein, events controlled in large measure by the Ras suppressor protein-1 (RSU-1) and oncogenic DJ-1, here we show decreased RSU1 and augmented DJ-1 expression in both fibroblasts and crypt-derived epithelial cells from morphologically normal colonic mucosa of FAP gene-carriers. The results indicate that heterozygosity for a mutant APC tumor suppressor gene alters the proteomes of both colon-derived normal fibroblasts in a gene-specific manner, consistent with a "one-hit" effect.
Project description:Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited syndrome caused by a heterozygous adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) germline mutation, associated with a profound lifetime risk for colorectal cancer. While it is well accepted that tumorigenic transformation is initiated following acquisition of a second mutation and loss of function of the APC gene, the role of heterozygous APC mutation in this process is yet to be discovered. This work aimed to explore whether a heterozygous APC mutation induces molecular defects underlying tumorigenic transformation and how different APC germline mutations predict disease severity. Three FAP-human embryonic stem cell lines (FAP1/2/3-hESC lines) carrying germline mutations at different locations of the APC gene, and two control hESC lines free of the APC mutation, were differentiated into colon organoids and analyzed by immunohistochemistry and RNA sequencing. In addition, data regarding the genotype and clinical phenotype of the embryo donor parents were collected from medical records. FAP-hESCs carrying a complete loss-of-function of a single APC allele (FAP3) generated complex and molecularly mature colon organoids, which were similar to controls. In contrast, FAP-hESCs carrying APC truncation mutations (FAP1 and FAP2) generated only few cyst-like structures and cell aggregates of various shape, occasionally with luminal parts, which aligned with their failure to upregulate critical differentiation genes early in the process, as shown by RNA sequencing. Abnormal disease phenotype was shown also in non-pathological colon of FAP patients by the randomly distribution of proliferating cells throughout the crypts, compared to their focused localization in the lower part of the crypt in healthy/non-FAP patients. Genotype/phenotype analysis revealed correlations between the colon organoid maturation potential and FAP severity in the carrier parents. In conclusion, this study suggest that a single truncated APC allele is sufficient to initiate early molecular tumorigenic activity. In addition, the results hint that patient-specific hESC-derived colon organoids can probably predict disease severity among FAP patients.
Project description:APC mutations initiate most colorectal cancers (CRCs), but cellular mechanisms linking this to CRC pathology are unclear. We reported that wild-type APC in the colon down-regulates the anti-apoptotic protein survivin, and APC mutation up-regulates it, explaining why most CRCs display survivin overexpression and apoptosis inhibition. However, it does not explain another hallmark of CRC pathology--increased mitotic figures and cell proliferation. Because survivin activates aurora-B kinase (ABK) in vitro, catalyzing mitosis, we hypothesized that in normal colonic crypts, APC controls ABK activity, while in neoplastic APC-mutant crypts, ABK activity is up-regulated, increasing mitosis. We quantitatively mapped intracryptal distributions of survivin, ABK, and markers of activated downstream signaling and mitosis (INCENP, phospho-histone-H3, phospho-centromere-protein-A). In normal crypts, gradients for these markers, ABK:survivin:INCENP complexes, and ABK activity were highest in the lower crypt (inverse to the APC gradient). In neoplastic crypts that harbor APC mutations, proliferating (Ki-67+) cells and cells expressing survivin, ABK, and phospho-histone-H3 were distributed farther up the crypt. Hence, as cells migrate up neoplastic crypts, transitions between cell phenotypes (eg, from stem to proliferating) appear delayed. In CRC cell lines, increasing wild-type APC, inhibiting TCF-4, or decreasing survivin expression down-regulated ABK activity. Thus, APC mutation-induced up-regulation of the survivin/ABK cascade can explain delayed crypt cell maturation, expansion of proliferative cell populations (including mitotic figures), and promotion of colon tumorigenesis.
Project description:Although Apc mutation is widely considered an initiating event in colorectal cancer, little is known about the earliest stages of tumorigenesis following sporadic Apc loss. Therefore, we have utilized a novel mouse model that facilitates the sporadic inactivation of Apc via frameshift reversion of Cre in single, isolated cells and subsequently tracks the fates of Apc-deficient intestinal cells. Our results suggest that consistent with Apc being a 'gatekeeper', loss of Apc early in life during intestinal growth leads to adenomas or increased crypt fission, manifested by fields of mutant but otherwise normal-appearing crypts. In contrast, Apc loss occurring later in life has minimal consequences, with mutant crypts being less prone to either increased crypt fission or adenoma formation. Using the stem cell-specific Lgr5-CreER mouse, we generated different sized fields of Apc-deficient crypts via independent recombination events and found that field size correlates with progression to adenoma. To evaluate this early stage prior to adenoma formation as a therapeutic target, we examined the chemopreventive effects of sulindac on Apc-deficient occult crypt fission. We found that sulindac treatment started early in life inhibits the morphologically occult spread of Apc-deficient crypts and thus reduces adenoma numbers. Taken together these results suggest that: (i) earlier Apc loss promotes increased crypt fission, (ii) a field of Apc-deficient crypts, which can form via occult crypt fission or independent neighboring events, is an important intermediate between loss of Apc and adenoma formation and (iii) normal-appearing Apc-deficient crypts are potential unappreciated targets for cancer screening and chemoprevention.
Project description:APC mutations drive human colorectal cancer (CRC) development. A major contributing factor is colonic stem cell (SC) overpopulation. But, the mechanism has not been fully identified. A possible mechanism is the dysregulation of neuroendocrine cell (NEC) maturation by APC mutations because SCs and NECs both reside together in the colonic crypt SC niche where SCs mature into NECs. So, we hypothesized that sequential inactivation of APC alleles in human colonic crypts leads to progressively delayed maturation of SCs into NECs and overpopulation of SCs. Accordingly, we used quantitative immunohistochemical mapping to measure indices and proportions of SCs and NECs in human colon tissues (normal, adenomatous, malignant), which have different APC-zygosity states. In normal crypts, many cells staining for the colonic SC marker ALDH1 co-stained for chromogranin-A (CGA) and other NEC markers. In contrast, in APC-mutant tissues from familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients, the proportion of ALDH+ SCs progressively increased while NECs markedly decreased. To explain how these cell populations change in FAP tissues, we used mathematical modelling to identify kinetic mechanisms. Computational analyses indicated that APC mutations lead to: 1) decreased maturation of ALDH+ SCs into progenitor NECs (not progenitor NECs into mature NECs); 2) diminished feedback signaling by mature NECs. Biological experiments using human CRC cell lines to test model predictions showed that mature GLP-2R+ and SSTR1+ NECs produce, via their signaling peptides, opposing effects on rates of NEC maturation via feedback regulation of progenitor NECs. However, decrease in this feedback signaling wouldn't explain the delayed maturation because both progenitor and mature NECs are depleted in CRCs. So the mechanism for delayed maturation must explain how APC mutation causes the ALDH+ SCs to remain immature. Given that ALDH is a key component of the retinoic acid (RA) signaling pathway, that other components of the RA pathway are selectively expressed in ALDH+ SCs, and that exogenous RA ligands can induce ALDH+ cancer SCs to mature into NECs, RA signaling must be attenuated in ALDH+ SCs in CRC. Thus, attenuation of RA signaling explains why ALDH+ SCs remain immature in APC mutant tissues. Since APC mutation causes increased WNT signaling in FAP and we found that sequential inactivation of APC in FAP patient tissues leads to progressively delayed maturation of colonic ALDH+ SCs, the hypothesis is developed that human CRC evolves due to an imbalance between WNT and RA signaling.
Project description:Many systems biology studies lack context-relevant data and as a consequence the predictive capabilities can be limited in developing targeted cancer therapeutics. Production of colon crypt in vitro is ideal for studying colon systems biology. This report presents the first production of, to our knowledge, physiologically-shaped, functional colon crypts in vitro (i.e. single crypts with cells expressing Mucin 2 and Chromogranin A). Time-lapsed monitoring of crypt formation revealed an increased frequency of single-crypt formation in the absence of noggin. Using quantitative 3D immunofluorescence of ?-catenin and E-cadherin, spatial-temporal dynamics of these proteins in normal colon crypt cells stimulated with Wnt3A or inhibited by cycloheximide has been measured. Colon adenoma cultures established from APC(min/+) mouse have developmental differences and ?-catenin spatial localization compared to normal crypts. Quantitative data describing the effects of signalling pathways and proteins dynamics for both normal and adenomatous colon crypts is now within reach to inform a systems approach to colon crypt biology.
Project description:The process of crypt formation and the roles of Wnt and cell-cell adhesion signaling in cryptogenesis are not well described; but are important to the understanding of both normal and cancer colon crypt biology. A quantitative 3D-microscopy and image analysis technique is used to study the frequency, morphology and molecular topography associated with crypt formation. Measurements along the colon reveal the details of crypt formation and some key underlying biochemical signals regulating normal colon biology. Our measurements revealed an asymmetrical crypt budding process, contrary to the previously reported symmetrical fission of crypts. 3D immunofluorescence analyses reveals heterogeneity in the subcellular distribution of E-cadherin and ?-catenin in distinct crypt populations. This heterogeneity was also found in asymmetrical budding crypts. Singular crypt formation (i.e. no multiple new crypts forming from one parent crypt) were observed in crypts isolated from the normal colon mucosa, suggestive of a singular constraint mechanism to prevent aberrant crypt production. The technique presented improves our understanding of cryptogenesis and suggests that excess colon crypt formation occurs when Wnt signaling is perturbed (e.g. by truncation of adenomatous polyposis coli, APC protein) in most colon cancers.
Project description:The understanding of the fixation of mutations within human tissues and their subsequent clonal expansion is a considerable problem, of which little is known. We have previously shown that nononcogenic mutations in the mitochondrial genome occur in one of a number of morphologically normal colonic crypt stem cells, the progeny of which later occupy the whole crypt. We propose that these wholly mutated crypts then clonally expand by crypt fission, where each crypt divides into two mutated daughter crypts. Here we show that (i) mutated crypts in the process of fission share the same mutated mitochondrial genotype not present in neighboring cytochrome c oxidase-positive crypts (the odds of this being a random event are >or=2.48 x 10(9):1); (ii) neighboring mutated crypts have the same genotype, which is different from adjacent cytochrome c oxidase-positive crypts; (iii) mutated crypts are clustered together throughout the colon; and (iv) patches of cytochrome c oxidase-deficient crypts increase in size with age. We thus demonstrate definitively that crypt fission is the mechanism by which mutations spread in the normal human colon. This has important implications for the biology of the normal adult human colon and possibly for the growth and spread of colorectal neoplasms.
Project description:<b><i>Background:</i></b> Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a condition typically caused by pathogenic germline mutations in the <i>APC</i> gene. In addition to colon polyps, individuals with FAP have a substantially increased risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Little is known about the events underlying this association, and the prevalence of somatic "second-hit" mutations in <i>APC</i> is controversial. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Whole-genome sequencing was performed on paired thyroid tumor and normal DNA from 12 FAP patients who developed PTC. Somatic mutation profiles were compared with clinical characteristics and previously sequenced sporadic PTC cases. Germline variant profiling was performed to assess the prevalence of variants in genes previously shown to have a role in PTC predisposition. <b><i>Results:</i></b> All 12 patients harbored germline mutations in <i>APC</i>, consistent with FAP. Seven patients also had somatic mutations in <i>APC</i>, and seven patients harbored somatic mutations in <i>KMT2D</i>, which encodes a lysine methyl transferase. Mutation of these genes is extremely rare in sporadic PTCs. Notably, only two of the tumors harbored the somatic <i>BRAF</i> p.V600E mutation, which is the most common driver mutation found in sporadic PTCs. Six tumors displayed a cribriform-morular variant of PTC (PTC-CMV) histology, and all six had somatic mutations in <i>APC</i>. Additionally, nine FAP-PTC patients had rare germline variants in genes that were previously associated with thyroid carcinoma. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> Our data indicate that FAP-associated PTCs typically have distinct mutations compared with sporadic PTCs. Roughly half of the thyroid cancers that arise in FAP patients have somatic "second-hits" in <i>APC</i>, which is associated with PTC-CMV histology. Somatic <i>BRAF</i> p.V600E variants also occur in some FAP patients, a novel finding. We speculate that in carriers of heterozygous pathogenic mutations of tumor suppressor genes such as <i>APC</i>, a cooperating second-hit somatic variant may occur in a different gene such as <i>KTM2D</i> or <i>BRAF</i>, leading to differences in phenotypes. The role of germline variance in genes other than APC (9 of the 12 patients in this series) needs further research.
Project description:Human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics remain poorly characterized because transgenic lineage-tracing methods are impractical in humans. Here, we have circumvented this problem by quantitatively using somatic mtDNA mutations to trace clonal lineages. By analyzing clonal imprints on the walls of colonic crypts, we show that human intestinal stem cells conform to one-dimensional neutral drift dynamics with a "functional" stem cell number of five to six in both normal patients and individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis (germline APC(-/+)). Furthermore, we show that, in adenomatous crypts (APC(-/-)), there is a proportionate increase in both functional stem cell number and the loss/replacement rate. Finally, by analyzing fields of mtDNA mutant crypts, we show that a normal colon crypt divides around once every 30-40 years, and the division rate is increased in adenomas by at least an order of magnitude. These data provide in vivo quantification of human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics.