Genomic characterization of patient-derived xenograft models established from fine needle aspirate biopsies of a primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and from patient-matched metastatic sites.
ABSTRACT: N-of-1 trials target actionable mutations, yet such approaches do not test genomically-informed therapies in patient tumor models prior to patient treatment. To address this, we developed patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models from fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies (FNA-PDX) obtained from primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) at the time of diagnosis. Here, we characterize PDX models established from one primary and two metastatic sites of one patient. We identified an activating KRAS G12R mutation among other mutations in these models. In explant cells derived from these PDX tumor models with a KRAS G12R mutation, treatment with inhibitors of CDKs (including CDK9) reduced phosphorylation of a marker of CDK9 activity (phospho-RNAPII CTD Ser2/5) and reduced viability/growth of explant cells derived from PDAC PDX models. Similarly, a CDK inhibitor reduced phospho-RNAPII CTD Ser2/5, increased apoptosis, and inhibited tumor growth in FNA-PDX and patient-matched metastatic-PDX models. In summary, PDX models can be constructed from FNA biopsies of PDAC which in turn can enable genomic characterization and identification of potential therapies.
Project description:Promoter clearance and transcriptional processivity in eukaryotic cells are fundamentally regulated by the phosphorylation of the carboxy-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). One of the kinases that essentially performs this function is P-TEFb (positive transcription elongation factor b), which is composed of cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) associated with members of the cyclin T family. Here we show that cellular GCN5 and P/CAF, members of the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase family of histone acetyltransferases, regulate CDK9 function by specifically acetylating the catalytic core of the enzyme and, in particular, a lysine that is essential for ATP coordination and the phosphotransfer reaction. Acetylation markedly reduces both the kinase function and transcriptional activity of P-TEFb. In contrast to unmodified CDK9, the acetylated fraction of the enzyme is specifically found in the insoluble nuclear matrix compartment. Acetylated CDK9 associates with the transcriptionally silent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 provirus; upon transcriptional activation, it is replaced by the unmodified form, which is involved in the elongating phase of transcription marked by Ser2-phosphorylated RNAPII. Given the conservation of the CDK9 acetylated residues in the catalytic task of virtually all CDK proteins, we anticipate that this mechanism of regulation might play a broader role in controlling the function of other members of this kinase family.
Project description:Transcription steps are marked by different modifications of the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). Phosphorylation of Ser5 and Ser7 by cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) as part of TFIIH marks initiation, whereas phosphorylation of Ser2 by CDK9 marks elongation. These processes are thought to take place in localized transcription foci in the nucleus, known as ‘‘transcription factories,’’ but it has been argued that the observed clusters/foci are mere fixation or labeling artifacts. We show that transcription factories exist in living cells as distinct foci by live-imaging fluorescently labeled CDK9, a kinase known to associate with active RNAPII. These foci were observed in different cell types derived from CDK9-mCherry knock-in mice. We show that these foci are very stable while highly dynamic in exchanging CDK9. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled with deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) data show that the genome-wide binding sites of CDK9 and initiating RNAPII overlap on transcribed genes. Immunostaining shows that CDK9- mCherry foci colocalize with RNAPII-Ser5P, much less with RNAPII-Ser2P, and not with CDK12 (a kinase reported to be involved in the Ser2 phosphorylation) or with splicing factor SC35. In conclusion, transcription factories exist in living cells, and initiation and elongation of transcripts takes place in different nuclear compartments. Examination of genome occupancy of CDK9 and RNAPII that was performed by ChIP-seq in the MEL cell line as described (Soler et al. 2010, 2011) using CDK9 C20 antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, C20, sc-484) and RNA Pol II antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, N20, sc899),
Project description:Pancreatic cancer (PC) is anticipated to be second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States by 2030. Surgery remains the only potentially curative treatment for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of PC. Multiple recent preclinical studies focus on identifying effective treatments for PDAC, but the models available for these studies often fail to reproduce the heterogeneity of this tumor type. Data generated with such models are of unknown clinical relevance. Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models offer several advantages over human cell line-based in vitro and in vivo models and models of non-human origin. PDX models retain genetic characteristics of the human tumor specimens from which they were derived, have intact stromal components, and are more predictive of patient response than traditional models. This review briefly describes the advantages and disadvantages of 2D cultures, organoids and genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of PDAC, and focuses on the applications, characteristics, advantages, limitations, and the future potential of PDX models for improving the management of PDAC.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has the worst prognosis among solid malignancies and improved therapeutic strategies are needed to improve outcomes. Patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and patient-derived organoids (PDO) serve as promising tools to identify new drugs with therapeutic potential in PDAC. For these preclinical disease models to be effective, they should both recapitulate the molecular heterogeneity of PDAC and validate patient-specific therapeutic sensitivities. To date however, deep characterization of the molecular heterogeneity of PDAC PDX and PDO models and comparison with matched human tumour remains largely unaddressed at the whole genome level. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of the genetic landscape of 16 whole-genome pairs of tumours and matched PDX, from primary PDAC and liver metastasis, including a unique cohort of 5 'trios' of matched primary tumour, PDX, and PDO. We developed a pipeline to score concordance between PDAC models and their paired human tumours for genomic events, including mutations, structural variations, and copy number variations. Tumour-model comparisons of mutations displayed single-gene concordance across major PDAC driver genes, but relatively poor agreement across the greater mutational load. Genome-wide and chromosome-centric analysis of structural variation (SV) events highlights previously unrecognized concordance across chromosomes that demonstrate clustered SV events. We found that polyploidy presented a major challenge when assessing copy number changes; however, ploidy-corrected copy number states suggest good agreement between donor-model pairs. Collectively, our investigations highlight that while PDXs and PDOs may serve as tractable and transplantable systems for probing the molecular properties of PDAC, these models may best serve selective analyses across different levels of genomic complexity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models of cancer have been recognized as better mouse models that recapitulate the characteristics of original malignancies including preserved tumor heterogeneity, lineage hierarchy, and tumor microenvironment. However, common challenges of PDX models are the significant time required for tumor expansion, reduced tumor take rates, and higher costs. Here, we describe a fast, simple, and cost-effective method of expanding PDX of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in mice. METHODS:We used two established frozen PDAC PDX tissues (derived from two different patients) and implanted them subcutaneously into SCID mice. After tissues reached 10-20 mm in diameter, we performed survival surgery on each mouse to harvest 90-95% of subcutaneous PDX (incomplete resection), allowing the remaining 5-10% of PDX to continue growing in the same mouse. RESULTS:We expanded three consecutive passages (P1, P2, and P3) of PDX in the same mouse. Comparing the times required for in vivo expansion, P2 and P3 (expanded through incomplete resection) grew 26-60% faster than P1. Moreover, such expanded PDX tissues were successfully implanted orthotopically into mouse pancreases. Within 20 weeks using only 14 mice, we generated sufficient PDX tissue for future implantation of 200 mice. Our histology study confirmed that the morphologies of cancer cells and stromal structures were similar across all three passages of subcutaneous PDX and the orthotopic PDX and were reflective of the original patient tumors. CONCLUSIONS:Taking advantage of incomplete resection of tumors associated with high local recurrence, we established a fast method of PDAC PDX expansion in mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Engraftment of primary pancreas ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) in mice to generate patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models is a promising platform for biological and therapeutic studies in this disease. However, these models are still incompletely characterized. Here, we measured the impact of the murine tumor environment on the gene expression of the engrafted human tumoral cells. METHODS: We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published microarray data of 18 PDX models, 53 primary tumors and 41 cell lines from PDAC. The results obtained in the PDAC system were further compared with public available microarray data from 42 PDX models, 108 primary tumors and 32 cell lines from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We developed a robust analysis protocol to explore the gene expression space. In addition, we completed the analysis with a functional characterization of PDX models, including if changes were caused by murine environment or by serial passing. RESULTS: Our results showed that PDX models derived from PDAC, or HCC, were clearly different to the cell lines derived from the same cancer tissues. Indeed, PDAC- and HCC-derived cell lines are indistinguishable from each other based on their gene expression profiles. In contrast, the transcriptomes of PDAC and HCC PDX models can be separated into two different groups that share some partial similarity with their corresponding original primary tumors. Our results point to the lack of human stromal involvement in PDXs as a major factor contributing to their differences from the original primary tumors. The main functional differences between pancreatic PDX models and human PDAC are the lower expression of genes involved in pathways related to extracellular matrix and hemostasis and the up- regulation of cell cycle genes. Importantly, most of these differences are detected in the first passages after the tumor engraftment. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that PDX models of PDAC and HCC retain, to some extent, a gene expression memory of the original primary tumors, while this pattern is not detected in conventional cancer cell lines. Expression changes in PDXs are mainly related to pathways reflecting the lack of human infiltrating cells and the adaptation to a new environment. We also provide evidence of the stability of gene expression patterns over subsequent passages, indicating early phases of the adaptation process.
Project description:Engraftment of primary pancreas ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) in mice to generate patient derived xenograft (PDX) models is a promising platform to for biological and therapeutic studies in this disease. However, these models are still incompletely characterized. Here, we measured the impact of the murine environment on the gene expression of the engrafted human tumoral cells. We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published microarray data from PDAC and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our results showed that PDX models derived from PDAC, or HCC, were clearly different to the cell lines derived from the same cancer tissues. Indeed, PDAC- and HCC-derived cell lines are indistinguishable one from the other based in their gene expression profiles. In contrast, the transcriptomes of PDAC and HCC PDX models are clearly different and more similar to their original tumor than to PDX models from the other tumor type. Interestingly, the main differences between pancreatic PDX models and human PDAC is the expression of genes involved in pathways related with extracellular matrix interactions and cell cycle regulation likely reflecting the adaptations of the tumors to the new environment. Furthermore, most of these differences are detected in the first passages after the tumor engraftment, indicating early phases of the adaptation process. In conclusion, different from conventional cancer cell lines, PDX models of PDAC retain similar gene expression profiles of PDAC. Expression changes are mainly related to genes involved in stromal pathways likely reflecting the adaptation to new environments. We also provide evidence of the stability of gene expression patterns over subsequent passages. We have analyzed gene expression profiles from 35 new PDX models and compared them with previously published in GEO microarray data. We used PDX models, primary tumors and cell lines from PDAC and hepatocellular carcinoma. All these public data were re-process in order to compare with our 35 samples
Project description:With a five-year survival rate of 9%, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the deadliest of all cancers. The rapid mortality makes PDAC difficult to research, and inspires a resolve to create reliable, tractable cellular models for preclinical cancer research. Organoids are increasingly used to model PDAC as they maintain the differentiation status, molecular and genomic signatures of the original tumour. In this paper, we present novel methodologies and experimental approaches to develop PDAC organoids from PDX tumours, and the simultaneous development of matched primary cell lines. Moreover, we also present a method of recapitulating primary cell line cultures to organoids (CLOs). We highlight the usefulness of CLOs as PDAC organoid models, as they maintain similar transcriptomic signatures as their matched patient-derived organoids and patient derived xenografts (PDX)s. These models provide a manageable, expandable in vitro resource for downstream applications such as high throughput screening, functional genomics, and tumour microenvironment studies.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (Cdk9) promotes elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), mRNA processing, and co-transcriptional histone modification. Cdk9 phosphorylates multiple targets, including the conserved RNAPII elongation factor Spt5 and RNAPII itself, but how these different modifications mediate Cdk9 functions is not known. Here we describe two Cdk9-dependent pathways in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe that involve distinct targets and elicit distinct biological outcomes. Phosphorylation of Spt5 by Cdk9 creates a direct binding site for Prf1/Rtf1, a transcription regulator with functional and physical links to the Polymerase Associated Factor (PAF) complex. PAF association with chromatin is also dependent on Cdk9 but involves alternate phosphoacceptor targets. Prf1 and PAF are biochemically separate in cell extracts, and genetic analyses show that Prf1 and PAF are functionally distinct and exert opposing effects on the RNAPII elongation complex. We propose that this opposition constitutes a Cdk9 auto-regulatory mechanism, such that a positive effect on elongation, driven by the PAF pathway, is kept in check by a negative effect of Prf1/Rtf1 and downstream mono-ubiquitylation of histone H2B. Thus, optimal RNAPII elongation may require balanced action of functionally distinct Cdk9 pathways.
Project description:Patient-derived organoid models are proving to be a powerful platform for both basic and translational studies. Here we conduct a methodical analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor organoid drug response in paired patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and PDX-derived organoid (PXO) models grown under WNT-free culture conditions. We report a specific relationship between area under the curve value of organoid drug dose response and in vivo tumor growth, irrespective of the drug treatment. In addition, we analyzed the glycome of PDX and PXO models and demonstrate that PXOs recapitulate the in vivo glycan landscape. In addition, we identify a core set of 57 N-glycans detected in all 10 models that represent 50%-94% of the relative abundance of all N-glycans detected in each of the models. Last, we developed a secreted biomarker discovery pipeline using media supernatant of organoid cultures and identified potentially new extracellular vesicle (EV) protein markers. We validated our findings using plasma samples from patients with PDAC, benign gastrointestinal diseases, and chronic pancreatitis and discovered that 4 EV proteins are potential circulating biomarkers for PDAC. Thus, we demonstrate the utility of organoid cultures to not only model in vivo drug responses but also serve as a powerful platform for discovering clinically actionable serologic biomarkers.