LBH Gene Transcription Regulation by the Interplay of an Enhancer Risk Allele and DNA Methylation in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
ABSTRACT: To identify nonobvious therapeutic targets for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we performed an integrative analysis incorporating multiple "omics" data and the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) database for potential regulatory regions. This analysis identified the limb bud and heart development (LBH) gene, which has risk alleles associated with RA/celiac disease and lupus, and can regulate cell proliferation in RA. We identified a novel LBH transcription enhancer with an RA risk allele (rs906868 G [Ref]/T) 6 kb upstream of the LBH gene with a differentially methylated locus. The confluence of 3 regulatory elements, rs906868, an RA differentially methylated locus, and a putative enhancer, led us to investigate their effects on LBH regulation in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).We cloned the 1.4-kb putative enhancer with either the rs906868 Ref allele or single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant into reporter constructs. The constructs were methylated in vitro and transfected into cultured FLS by nucleofection.We found that both variants increased transcription, thereby confirming the region's enhancer function. Unexpectedly, the transcriptional activity of the Ref risk allele was significantly lower than that of the SNP variant and is consistent with low LBH levels as a risk factor for aggressive FLS behavior. Using RA FLS lines with a homozygous Ref or SNP allele, we confirmed that homozygous Ref lines expressed lower LBH messenger RNA levels than did the SNP lines. Methylation significantly reduced enhancer activity for both alleles, indicating that enhancer function is dependent on its methylation status.This study shows how the interplay between genetics and epigenetics can affect expression of LBH in RA.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are key players in the synovial pathology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Currently, there is no treatment that specifically targets these aggressive cells. By combining 3 different "omics" data sets, i.e., 1) risk genes in RA, 2) differentially expressed genes, and 3) differential DNA methylation in RA versus osteoarthritis (OA) FLS, we identified LBH (limb bud and heart development) as a candidate gene in RA. The present study was undertaken to define the role of this gene in FLS. METHODS:Synovial tissue specimens from RA and OA patients were collected at the time of joint replacement surgery. LBH expression was silenced using small interfering RNA or overexpressed using an LBH expression vector in primary FLS. Gene expression profiles were determined by microarray and assessed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Effects of modified LBH expression were investigated in functional assays. RESULTS:LBH was expressed in the synovial lining layer in patients with RA. Transforming growth factor ?1 significantly increased LBH expression in primary FLS, and platelet-derived growth factor BB decreased it. Pathway analysis of the transcriptome of LBH-deficient FLS compared to control FLS identified "cellular growth and proliferation" as the most significantly enriched pathway. In growth assays, LBH deficiency increased FLS proliferation. Conversely, LBH overexpression significantly inhibited cell growth. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated a marked increase in cells entering the cell cycle in LBH-deficient FLS compared to controls. LBH did not alter apoptosis. CONCLUSION:LBH is a candidate gene for synovial pathology in RA. It is regulated by growth factors and modulates cell growth in primary FLS. Our data suggest a novel mechanism for synovial intimal hyperplasia and joint damage in RA.
Project description:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) display unique aggressive behavior, invading the articular cartilage and promoting inflammation. Using an integrative analysis of RA risk alleles, the transcriptome and methylome in RA FLS, we recently identified the limb bud and heart development (LBH) gene as a key dysregulated gene in RA and other autoimmune diseases. Although some evidence suggests that LBH could modulate the cell cycle, the precise mechanism is unknown and its impact on inflammation in vivo has not been defined. Our cell cycle analysis studies show that LBH deficiency in FLS leads to S-phase arrest and failure to progress through the cell cycle. LBH-deficient FLS had increased DNA damage and reduced expression of the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase ?. Decreased DNA polymerase ? was followed by checkpoint arrest due to phosphorylation of checkpoint kinase 1. Because DNA fragments can increase arthritis severity in preclinical models, we then explored the effect of LBH deficiency in the K/BxN serum transfer model. Lbh knockout exacerbated disease severity, which is associated with elevated levels of IL-1? and checkpoint kinase 1 phosphorylation. These studies indicate that LBH deficiency induces S-phase arrest that, in turn, exacerbates inflammation. Because LBH gene variants are associated with type I diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, RA, and celiac disease, these results suggest a general mechanism that could contribute to immune-mediated diseases.
Project description:The PTPN11 gene, encoding the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2, is overexpressed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) compared with osteoarthritis (OA) FLS and promotes RA FLS invasiveness. Here, we explored the molecular basis for PTPN11 overexpression in RA FLS and the role of SHP-2 in RA pathogenesis. Using computational methods, we identified a putative enhancer in PTPN11 intron 1, which contained a glucocorticoid receptor- binding (GR-binding) motif. This region displayed enhancer function in RA FLS and contained 2 hypermethylation sites in RA compared with OA FLS. RA FLS stimulation with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone induced GR binding to the enhancer and PTPN11 expression. Glucocorticoid responsiveness of PTPN11 was significantly higher in RA FLS than OA FLS and required the differentially methylated CpGs for full enhancer function. SHP-2 expression was enriched in the RA synovial lining, and heterozygous Ptpn11 deletion in radioresistant or innate immune cells attenuated K/BxN serum transfer arthritis in mice. Treatment with SHP-2 inhibitor 11a-1 reduced RA FLS migration and responsiveness to TNF and IL-1? stimulation and reduced arthritis severity in mice. Our findings demonstrate how abnormal epigenetic regulation of a pathogenic gene determines FLS behavior and demonstrate that targeting SHP-2 or the SHP-2 pathway could be a therapeutic strategy for RA.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine whether differentially methylated CpGs in synovium-derived fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were also differentially methylated in RA peripheral blood (PB) samples. METHODS:For this study, 371 genome-wide DNA methylation profiles were measured using Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChips in PB samples from 63 patients with RA and 31 unaffected control subjects, specifically in the cell subsets of CD14+ monocytes, CD19+ B cells, CD4+ memory T cells, and CD4+ naive T cells. RESULTS:Of 5,532 hypermethylated FLS candidate CpGs, 1,056 were hypermethylated in CD4+ naive T cells from RA PB compared to control PB. In analyses of a second set of CpG candidates based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms from a genome-wide association study of RA, 1 significantly hypermethylated CpG in CD4+ memory T cells and 18 significant CpGs (6 hypomethylated, 12 hypermethylated) in CD4+ naive T cells were found. A prediction score based on the hypermethylated FLS candidates had an area under the curve of 0.73 for association with RA case status, which compared favorably to the association of RA with the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope risk allele and with a validated RA genetic risk score. CONCLUSION:FLS-representative DNA methylation signatures derived from the PB may prove to be valuable biomarkers for the risk of RA or for disease status.
Project description:Epigenetics can influence disease susceptibility and severity. While DNA methylation of individual genes has been explored in autoimmunity, no unbiased systematic analyses have been reported. Therefore, a genome-wide evaluation of DNA methylation loci in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) isolated from the site of disease in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was performed.Genomic DNA was isolated from six RA and five osteoarthritis (OA) FLS lines and evaluated using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 chip. Cluster analysis of data was performed and corrected using Benjamini-Hochberg adjustment for multiple comparisons. Methylation was confirmed by pyrosequencing and gene expression was determined by qPCR. Pathway analysis was performed using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes.RA and control FLS segregated based on DNA methylation, with 1859 differentially methylated loci. Hypomethylated loci were identified in key genes relevant to RA, such as CHI3L1, CASP1, STAT3, MAP3K5, MEFV and WISP3. Hypermethylation was also observed, including TGFBR2 and FOXO1. Hypomethylation of individual genes was associated with increased gene expression. Grouped analysis identified 207 hypermethylated or hypomethylated genes with multiple differentially methylated loci, including COL1A1, MEFV and TNF. Hypomethylation was increased in multiple pathways related to cell migration, including focal adhesion, cell adhesion, transendothelial migration and extracellular matrix interactions. Confirmatory studies with OA and normal FLS also demonstrated segregation of RA from control FLS based on methylation pattern.Differentially methylated genes could alter FLS gene expression and contribute to the pathogenesis of RA. DNA methylation of critical genes suggests that RA FLS are imprinted and implicate epigenetic contributions to inflammatory arthritis.
Project description:PURPOSE:To address the association between sequence variants within the MGMT (O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) promoter-enhancer region and methylation of MGMT in premalignant lesions from smokers and lung adenocarcinomas, their biological effects on gene regulation, and targeting MGMT for therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) identified through sequencing a 1.9 kb fragment 5' of MGMT were examined in relation to MGMT methylation in 169 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,731 sputum samples from smokers. The effect of promoter haplotypes on MGMT expression was tested using a luciferase reporter assay and cDNA expression analysis along with allele-specific sequencing for methylation. The response of MGMT methylated lung cancer cell lines to the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) was assessed. RESULTS:The A allele of rs16906252 and the haplotype containing this SNP were strongly associated with increased risk for MGMT methylation in adenocarcinomas (ORs ? 94). This association was observed to a lesser extent in sputum samples in both smoker cohorts. The A allele was selectively methylated in primary lung tumors and cell lines heterozygous for rs16906252. With the most common haplotype as the reference, a 20 to 41% reduction in promoter activity was seen for the haplotype carrying the A allele that correlated with lower MGMT expression. The sensitivity of lung cancer cell lines to TMZ was strongly correlated with levels of MGMT methylation and expression. CONCLUSIONS:These studies provide strong evidence that the A allele of a MGMT promoter-enhancer SNP is a key determinant for MGMT methylation in lung carcinogenesis. Moreover, TMZ treatment may benefit a subset of lung cancer patients methylated for MGMT.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A DNA methylation signature has been characterized that distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast like synoviocytes (FLS) from osteoarthritis (OA) FLS. The presence of epigenetic changes in long-term cultured cells suggest that rheumatoid FLS imprinting might contribute to pathogenic behavior. To understand how differentially methylated genes (DMGs) might participate in the pathogenesis of RA, we evaluated the stability of the RA signature and whether DMGs are enriched in specific pathways and ontology categories. METHODS: To assess the RA methylation signatures the Illumina HumanMethylation450 chip was used to compare methylation levels in RA, OA, and normal (NL) FLS at passage 3, 5, and 7. Then methylation frequencies at CpGs within the signature were compared between passages. To assess the enrichment of DMGs in specific pathways, DMGs were identified as genes that possess significantly differential methylated loci within their promoter regions. These sets of DMGs were then compared to pathway and ontology databases to establish enrichment in specific categories. RESULTS: Initial studies compared passage 3, 5, and 7 FLS from RA, OA, and NL. The patterns of differential methylation of each individual FLS line were very similar regardless of passage number. Using the most robust analysis, 20 out of 272 KEGG pathways and 43 out of 34,400 GO pathways were significantly altered for RA compared with OA and NL FLS. Most interestingly, we found that the KEGG 'Rheumatoid Arthritis' pathway was consistently the most significantly enriched with differentially methylated loci. Additional pathways involved with innate immunity (Complement and Coagulation, Toll-like Receptors, NOD-like Receptors, and Cytosolic DNA-sensing), cell adhesion (Focal Adhesion, Cell Adhesion Molecule), and cytokines (Cytokine-cytokine Receptor). Taken together, KEGG and GO pathway analysis demonstrates non-random epigenetic imprinting of RA FLS. CONCLUSIONS: The DNA methylation patterns include anomalies in key genes implicated in the pathogenesis of RA and are stable for multiple cell passages. Persistent epigenetic alterations could contribute to the aggressive phenotype of RA synoviocytes and identify potential therapeutic targets that could modulate the pathogenic behavior.
Project description:Stratifying patients on the basis of molecular signatures could facilitate development of therapeutics that target pathways specific to a particular disease or tissue location. Previous studies suggest that pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is similar in all affected joints. Here we show that distinct DNA methylation and transcriptome signatures not only discriminate RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from osteoarthritis FLS, but also distinguish RA FLS isolated from knees and hips. Using genome-wide methods, we show differences between RA knee and hip FLS in the methylation of genes encoding biological pathways, such as IL-6 signalling via JAK-STAT pathway. Furthermore, differentially expressed genes are identified between knee and hip FLS using RNA-sequencing. Double-evidenced genes that are both differentially methylated and expressed include multiple HOX genes. Joint-specific DNA signatures suggest that RA disease mechanisms might vary from joint to joint, thus potentially explaining some of the diversity of drug responses in RA patients.
Project description:Objectives: Epigenetics can influence disease susceptibility and severity. While DNA methylation of individual genes has been explored in autoimmunity, no unbiased systematic analyses have been reported. Therefore, a genome-wide evaluation of DNA methylation loci in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) isolated from the site of disease in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was performed. Methods: Genomic DNA was isolated from six RA and five osteoarthritis (OA) FLS lines and evaluated using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 chip. Cluster analysis of data was performed and corrected using Benjamini–Hochberg adjustment for multiple comparisons. Methylation was confirmed by pyrosequencing and gene expression was determined by qPCR. Pathway analysis was performed using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Results: RA and control FLS segregated based on DNA methylation, with 1859 differentially methylated loci. Hypomethylated loci were identified in key genes relevant to RA, such as CHI3L1, CASP1, STAT3, MAP3K5, MEFV and WISP3. Hypermethylation was also observed, including TGFBR2 and FOXO1. Hypomethylation of individual genes was associated with increased gene expression. Grouped analysis identified 207 hypermethylated or hypomethylated genes with multiple differentially methylated loci, including COL1A1, MEFV and TNF. Hypomethylation was increased in multiple pathways related to cell migration, including focal adhesion, cell adhesion, transendothelial migration and extracellular matrix interactions. Confirmatory studies with OA and normal FLS also demonstrated segregation of RA from control FLS based on methylation pattern. Conclusions: Differentially methylated genes could alter FLS gene expression and contribute to the pathogenesis of RA. DNA methylation of critical genes suggests that RA FLS are imprinted and implicate epigenetic contributions to inflammatory arthritis. Fibroblast-like synoviocyte cell-lines from osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
Project description:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with high morbidity and mortality. Within the inflammatory milieu, resident fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in the synovial tissue undergo hyperplasia, which leads to joint destruction. Epidemiologic studies and our previous research suggest that activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) pathway plays an instrumental role in the inflammatory and destructive RA phenotype. In addition, our recent studies implicate the AHR in the regulation of the expression of several growth factors in established tumor cell lines. Thus, under inflammatory conditions, we hypothesized that the AHR is involved in the constitutive and inducible expression of several growth factors, FLS proliferation and migration, along with protease-dependent invasion in FLS from patients with RA (RA-FLS). Treatment with the AHR antagonist GNF351 inhibits cytokine-induced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), epiregulin, amphiregulin, and basic fibroblast growth factor mRNA through an AHR-dependent mechanism in both RA-FLS and FLS. Secretion of VEGF-A and epiregulin from RA-FLS was also inhibited upon GNF351 treatment. RA-FLS cell migration, along with cytokine-induced RA-FLS cell proliferation, was significantly attenuated by GNF351 exposure. Treatment of RA-FLS with GNF351 mitigated cytokine-mediated expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 mRNA and diminished the RA-FLS invasive phenotype. These findings indicate that inhibition of AHR activity may be a viable therapeutic target in amelioration of disease progression in RA by attenuating growth factor release; FLS proliferation, migration, and invasion; and inflammatory activity.