Recombinase-based conditional and reversible gene regulation via XTR alleles.
ABSTRACT: Synthetic biological tools that enable precise regulation of gene function within in vivo systems have enormous potential to discern gene function in diverse physiological settings. Here we report the development and characterization of a synthetic gene switch that, when targeted in the mouse germline, enables conditional inactivation, reports gene expression and allows inducible restoration of the targeted gene. Gene inactivation and reporter expression is achieved through Cre-mediated stable inversion of an integrated gene-trap reporter, whereas inducible gene restoration is afforded by Flp-dependent deletion of the inverted gene trap. We validate our approach by targeting the p53 and Rb genes and establishing cell line and in vivo cancer model systems, to study the impact of p53 or Rb inactivation and restoration. We term this allele system XTR, to denote each of the allelic states and the associated expression patterns of the targeted gene: eXpressed (XTR), Trapped (TR) and Restored (R).
Project description:Background: LKB1 is among the most frequently altered tumor suppressors in lung adenocarcinoma. Inactivation of Lkb1 accelerates the growth and progression of oncogenic KRAS-driven lung tumors in mouse models. However, the molecular mechanisms by which LKB1 constrains lung tumorigenesis and whether the aggressive cancer state that stems from Lkb1 deficiency can be reverted remains unknown.Purpose: To assess the acute transcriptional response to Lkb1 restoration within established lung tumors in a genetically engineered mouse model of oncogenic KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma. Approach: To control LKB1 function in vivo, we generated an Lkb1XTR allele, which enables Cre-mediated disruption of Lkb1 expression during tumor development and subsequent FLPo-ERT2-mediated reactivation of Lkb1 within established tumors. Lung tumors were initiated in KrasLSL-G12D/+;R26LSL-tdTomato (KT; Lkb1 wild-type), KT;Lkb1XTR/XTR (non-restorable), and KT;Lkb1XTR/XTR;FLPo-ERT2 (restorable) mice with Lenti-Cre. Prior isolating neoplastic cells by FACS for gene expression profiling by RNA-seq, lung tumor-bearing were treated with either corn oil vehicle or tamoxifen for two weeks following tumor development. Results: Lkb1 restoration resulted in higher expression of markers of alveolar type II epithelial cells as well as gene sets relating to immunomodulation and lipid metabolism export, which are important functions of mature alveolar type II epithelial cells. Conclusions: LKB1 promotes the expression of C/EBP target genes and consequently drives features of alveolar type II epithelial cell differentiation. Overall design: Lung tumors were initiated in KrasLSL-G12D/+;R26LSL-tdTomato (KT; Lkb1 wild-type), KT;Lkb1XTR/XTR (non-restorable), and KT;Lkb1XTR/XTR;FLPo-ERT2 (restorable) mice with Lenti-Cre. Following tumor development and two weeks of treatment with either corn oil vehicle or tamoxifen, neoplastic cells were FACS-isolated from lung tumors and subjected to bulk RNA-seq.
Project description:The retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor gene is frequently inactivated in cancer, resulting in deregulated activation of E2F transcription factors, which promote S-phase entry, p53-dependent and p53-independent apoptosis. Transformed cells evade p53-dependent apoptosis initiated by Rb inactivation by TP53 mutation. However, the mechanisms by which cancer cells circumvent p53-independent apoptosis in this context are poorly understood. Because Rb inactivation primes cells for apoptosis by p53-independent induction of procaspases, we postulated that ?B-crystallin, an inhibitor of procaspase-3 activation, would suppress caspase activation in cells with combined Rb and p53 inactivation. Notably, ?B-crystallin is commonly expressed in ER/PR/HER2 "triple-negative" breast carcinomas characterized by frequent Rb loss and TP53 mutation. We report that ?B-crystallin (-/-) knock out (KO) MEFs immortalized by dominant negative (DN) p53 are resistant to transformation by the adenovirus E1A oncoprotein, which inactivates Rb, while wild-type (WT) MEFs are readily transformed by DN p53 and E1A. ?B-crystallin (-/-) KO MEFs stably expressing DN p53 and E1A were more sensitive to chemotherapy-induced caspase-3 activation and apoptosis than the corresponding WT MEFs, despite comparable induction of procaspases by E1A. Similarly, silencing Rb in WT and ?B-crystallin (-/-) KO MEFs immortalized by DN p53 increased procaspase levels and sensitized ?B-crystallin (-/-) KO MEFs to chemotherapy. Furthermore, silencing ?B-crystallin in triple-negative breast cancer cells, which lack Rb and express mutant p53, enhanced chemotherapy sensitivity compared to non-silencing controls. Our results indicate that ?B-crystallin inhibits caspase activation in cells primed for apoptosis by Rb inactivation and plays a novel oncogenic role in the context of combined Rb and p53 inactivation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Transcatheter tricuspid valve repair (TTVR) is a promising technique for the treatment of tricuspid regurgitation (TR). Data comparing the performance of novel edge-to-edge devices (PASCAL and MitraClip-XTR) are scarce.<h4>Methods</h4>We identified 80 consecutive patients who underwent TTVR using either the PASCAL or MitraClip-XTR system to treat symptomatic TR from July 2018 to June 2020. To adjust for baseline imbalances, we performed a propensity score (PS) 1:1 matching. The primary endpoint was a reduction in TR severity by at least one grade at 30 days.<h4>Results</h4>The PS-matched cohort (n?=?44) was at high-surgical risk (EuroSCORE II: 7.5% [interquartile range (IQR) 4.8-12.1%]) with a mean TR grade of 4.3?±?0.8 and median coaptation gap of 6.2 mm [IQR 3.2-9.1 mm]. The primary endpoint was similarly observed in both groups (PASCAL: 91% vs. MitraClip-XTR: 96%). Multiple device implantation was the most common form (59% vs. 82%, p?=?0.19), and the occurrence of SLDA was comparable between the PASCAL and MitraClip-XTR system (5.7% [2 of 35 implanted devices] vs. 4.4% [2 of 45 implanted devices], p?=?0.99). No periprocedural death or conversions to surgery occurred, and 30-day mortality (5.0% vs. 5.0%, log-rank p?=?0.99) and 3-month mortality (10.0% vs. 5.0%, log-rank p?=?0.56) were similar between both groups. During follow-up, functional NYHA class, 6-min walking distance, and health status improved in both groups.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Both TTVR devices, PASCAL and MitraClip-XTR, appeared feasible and comparable for an effective TR reduction. Randomized head-to-head comparisons will help to further define the appropriate scope of application of each system.
Project description:Mice heterozygous for the retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor gene develop pituitary and thyroid tumors with high penetrance. We demonstrate here that loss of the ARF tumor suppressor strongly accelerates intermediate lobe pituitary tumorigenesis in Rb heterozygous mice. These effects in the pituitary are greater than those conferred by p53 loss in that Rb+-;ARF-- mice display significantly more early atypical lesions than Rb+-; p53-- mice. Also, Rb+-;ARF-- compound mutants do not develop many of the novel tumors or precancerous lesions seen in Rb+-;p53-- compound mutants. Although complete loss of ARF expression is not obligatory for pituitary tumorigenesis in Rb+- mice, alterations of the ARF locus are observed in tumors from Rb+-;ARF+- mice, consistent with a selective advantage of ARF inactivation in this context. We conclude that inactivation of ARF acts more broadly than that of p53 in connecting abrogation of the Rb pathway to tumorigenesis.
Project description:The RB and p53 tumor suppressors are mediators of DNA damage response, and compound inactivation of RB and p53 is a common occurrence in human cancers. Surprisingly, their cooperation in DNA damage signaling in relation to tumorigenesis and therapeutic response remains enigmatic. In the context of individuals with heritable retinoblastoma, there is a predilection for secondary tumor development, which has been associated with the use of radiation-therapy to treat the primary tumor. Furthermore, while germline mutations of the p53 gene are critical drivers for cancer predisposition syndromes, it is postulated that extrinsic stresses play a major role in promoting varying tumor spectrums and disease severities. In light of these studies, we examined the tumor suppressor functions of these proteins when challenged by exposure to therapeutic stress. To examine the cooperation of RB and p53 in tumorigenesis, and in response to therapy-induced DNA damage, a combination of genetic deletion and dominant negative strategies was employed. Results indicate that loss/inactivation of RB and p53 is not sufficient for cellular transformation. However, these proteins played distinct roles in response to therapy-induced DNA damage and subsequent tumorigenesis. Specifically, RB status was critical for cellular response to damage and senescence, irrespective of p53 function. Loss of RB resulted in a dramatic evolution of gene expression as a result of alterations in epigenetic programming. Critically, the observed changes in gene expression have been specifically associated with tumorigenesis, and RB-deficient, recurred cells displayed oncogenic characteristics, as well as increased resistance to subsequent challenge with discrete therapeutic agents. Taken together, these findings indicate that tumor suppressor functions of RB and p53 are particularly manifest when challenged by cellular stress. In the face of such challenge, RB is a critical suppressor of tumorigenesis beyond p53, and RB-deficiency could promote significant cellular evolution, ultimately contributing to a more aggressive disease.
Project description:Periostin is usually considered as an oncogene in diverse human cancers, including breast, prostate, colon, esophagus, and pancreas cancers, whereas it acts as a tumor suppressor in bladder cancer. In gastric cancer, it has been demonstrated that periglandular periostin expression is decreased whereas stromal periostin expression is significantly increased as compared with normal gastric tissues. Moreover, periostin produced by stromal myofibroblasts markedly promotes gastric cancer cell growth. These observations suggest that periostin derived from different types of cells may play distinct biological roles in gastric tumorigenesis. The aim of this study was to explore the biological functions and related molecular mechanisms of epithelial cell-derived periostin in gastric cancer. Our data showed that periglandular periostin was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues as compared with matched normal gastric mucosa. In addition, its expression in metastatic lymph nodes was significantly lower than that in their primary cancer tissues. Our data also demonstrated that periglandular periostin expression was negatively associated with tumor stage. More importantly, restoration of periostin expression in gastric cancer cells dramatically suppressed cell growth and invasiveness. Elucidation of the mechanisms involved revealed that periostin restoration enhanced Rb phosphorylation and sequentially activated the transcription of E2F1 target gene p14(ARF), leading to Mdm2 inactivation and the stabilization of p53 and E-cadherin proteins. Strikingly, these effects of periostin were abolished upon Rb deletion. Collectively, we have for the first time demonstrated that epithelial cell-derived periostin exerts tumor-suppressor activities in gastric cancer through stabilizing p53 and E-cadherin proteins via the Rb/E2F1/p14(ARF)/Mdm2 signaling pathway.
Project description:Genetically defined mouse models offer an important tool to identify critical secondary genetic alterations with relevance to human cancer pathogenesis. We used newly generated MMTV-Cre105Ayn mice to inactivate p53 and/or Rb strictly in the mammary epithelium, and to determine recurrent genomic changes associated with deficiencies of these genes. p53 inactivation led to formation of estrogen receptor-positive raloxifene-responsive mammary carcinomas with features of luminal subtype B. Rb deficiency was insufficient to initiate carcinogenesis but promoted genomic instability and growth rate of neoplasms associated with p53 inactivation. Genome-wide analysis of mammary carcinomas identified a recurrent amplification at chromosome band 9A1, a locus orthologous to human 11q22, which contains protooncogenes cIAP1 (Birc2), cIAP2 (Birc3) and Yap1. It is interesting that this amplicon was preferentially detected in carcinomas carrying wild-type Rb. However, all three genes were overexpressed in carcinomas with p53 and Rb inactivation, likely due to E2F-mediated transactivation, and cooperated in carcinogenesis according to gene knockdown experiments. These findings establish a model of luminal subtype B mammary carcinoma, identify critical role of cIAP1, cIAP2 and Yap1 co-expression in mammary carcinogenesis and provide an explanation for the lack of recurrent amplifications of cIAP1, cIAP2 and Yap1 in some tumors with frequent Rb deficiency, such as mammary carcinoma.
Project description:Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is a highly metastatic tumor type with neuroendocrine features and a dismal prognosis. PTEN mutations and PIK3CA activating mutations have been reported in SCLC but the functional relevance of this pathway is unknown. The PTEN/PIK3CA pathway was interrogated using an AdenoCre-driven mouse model of SCLC harboring inactivated Rb and p53. Inactivation of one allele of PTEN in Rb/p53-deleted mice led to accelerated SCLC with frequent metastasis to the liver. In contrast with the high mutation burden reported in human SCLC, exome analyses revealed a low number of protein-altering mutations in mouse SCLC. Inactivation of both alleles of PTEN in the Rb/p53-deleted system led to nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation. This study reveals a critical role for the PTEN/PI3K pathway in both SCLC and lung adenocarcinoma and provides an ideal system to test the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway inhibitors as targeted therapy for subsets of patients with SCLC.The ability of PTEN inactivation to accelerate SCLC in a genetic mouse model suggests that targeting the PTEN pathway is a therapeutic option for a subset of human patients with SCLC. VISUAL OVERVIEW: http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/28/1541-7786.MCR-13-0554/F1.large.jpg.
Project description:The targeted inactivation of oncogenes offers a rational therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer. However, the therapeutic inactivation of a single oncogene has been associated with tumor recurrence. Therefore, it is necessary to develop strategies to override mechanisms of tumor escape from oncogene dependence. We report here that the targeted inactivation of MYC is sufficient to induce sustained regression of hematopoietic tumors in transgenic mice, except in tumors that had lost p53 function. p53 negative tumors were unable to be completely eliminated, as demonstrated by the kinetics of tumor cell elimination revealed by bioluminescence imaging. Histological examination revealed that upon MYC inactivation, the loss of p53 led to a deficiency in thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) expression, a potent antiangiogenic protein, and the subsequent inability to shut off angiogenesis. Restoration of p53 expression in these tumors re-established TSP-1 expression. This permitted the suppression of angiogenesis and subsequent sustained tumor regression upon MYC inactivation. Similarly, the restoration of TSP-1 alone in p53 negative tumors resulted in the shut down of angiogenesis and led to sustained tumor regression upon MYC inactivation. Hence, the complete regression of tumor mass driven by inactivation of the MYC oncogene requires the p53-dependent induction of TSP-1 and the shut down of angiogenesis. Notably, overexpression of TSP-1 alone did not influence tumor growth. Therefore, the combined inactivation of oncogenes and angiogenesis may be a more clinically effective treatment of cancer. We conclude that angiogenesis is an essential component of oncogene addiction.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) includes basal-like and claudin-low subtypes for which no specific treatment is currently available. Although the retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor gene (RB1) is frequently lost together with TP53 in TNBC, it is not directly targetable. There is thus great interest in identifying vulnerabilities downstream of RB1 that can be therapeutically exploited. Here, we determined that combined inactivation of murine Rb and p53 in diverse mammary epithelial cells induced claudin-low-like TNBC with Met, Birc2/3-Mmp13-Yap1, and Pvt1-Myc amplifications. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that Rb/p53-deficient tumors showed elevated expression of the mitochondrial protein translation (MPT) gene pathway relative to tumors harboring p53 deletion alone. Accordingly, bioinformatic, functional, and biochemical analyses showed that RB1-E2F complexes bind to MPT gene promoters to regulate transcription and control MPT. Additionally, a screen of US Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA-approved) drugs identified the MPT antagonist tigecycline (TIG) as a potent inhibitor of Rb/p53-deficient tumor cell proliferation. TIG preferentially suppressed RB1-deficient TNBC cell proliferation, targeted both the bulk and cancer stem cell fraction, and strongly attenuated xenograft growth. It also cooperated with sulfasalazine, an FDA-approved inhibitor of cystine xCT antiporter, in culture and xenograft assays. Our results suggest that RB1 deficiency promotes cancer cell proliferation in part by enhancing mitochondrial function and identify TIG as a clinically approved drug for RB1-deficient TNBC.