Ablating all three retinoblastoma family members in mouse lung leads to neuroendocrine tumor formation.
ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is a deadly disease with increasing cases diagnosed worldwide and still a very poor prognosis. While mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB1) tumor suppressor have been reported in lung cancer, mainly in small cell lung carcinoma, the tumor suppressive role of its relatives p107 and p130 is still a matter of debate. To begin to investigate the role of these two Rb family proteins in lung tumorigenesis, we have generated a conditional triple knockout mouse model (TKO) in which the three Rb family members can be inactivated in adult mice. We found that ablation of all three family members in the lung of mice induces tumorlets, benign neuroendocrine tumors that are remarkably similar to their human counterparts. Upon chemical carcinogenesis, DHPN and urethane accelerate tumor development; the TKO model displays increased sensitivity to DHPN, and urethane increases malignancy of tumors. All the tumors developing in TKO mice (spontaneous and chemically induced) have neuroendocrine features but do not progress to fully malignant tumors. Thus, loss of Rb and its family members confers partial tumor susceptibility in neuroendocrine lineages in the lungs of mice. Our data also imply the requirement of other oncogenic signaling pathways to achieve full transformation in neuroendocrine lung lesions mutant for the Rb family.
Project description:Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is a neuroendocrine subtype of lung cancer. Although SCLC patients often initially respond to therapy, tumors nearly always recur, resulting in a 5-year survival rate of less than 10%. A mouse model has been developed based on the fact that the RB and p53 tumor suppressor genes are mutated in more than 90% of human SCLCs. Emerging evidence in patients and mouse models suggests that p130, a gene related to RB, may act as a tumor suppressor in SCLC cells. To test this idea, we used conditional mutant mice to delete p130 in combination with Rb and p53 in adult lung epithelial cells. We found that loss of p130 resulted in increased proliferation and significant acceleration of SCLC development in this triple-knockout mouse model. The histopathologic features of the triple-mutant mouse tumors closely resembled that of human SCLC. Genome-wide expression profiling experiments further showed that Rb/p53/p130-mutant mouse tumors were similar to human SCLC. These findings indicate that p130 plays a key tumor suppressor role in SCLC. Rb/p53/p130-mutant mice provide a novel preclinical mouse model to identify novel therapeutic targets against SCLC.
Project description:Maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3, mouse homolog Gtl2) encodes a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that is expressed in many normal tissues, but is suppressed in various cancer cell lines and tumors, suggesting it plays a functional role as a tumor suppressor. Hypermethylation has been shown to contribute to this loss of expression. We now demonstrate that MEG3 expression is regulated by the retinoblastoma protein (Rb) pathway and correlates with a change in cell proliferation. Microarray analysis of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) isolated from mice with genetic deletion of all three Rb family members (TKO) revealed a significant silencing of Gtl2/MEG3 expression compared to WT MEFs, and re-expression of Gtl2/MEG3 caused decrease in cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. MEG3 levels also were suppressed in A549 lung cancer cells compared with normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells, and, similar to the TKO cells, re-constitution of MEG3 led to a decrease in cell proliferation and elevated apoptosis. Activation of pRb by treatment of A549 and SK-MES-1 cells with palbociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, increased the expression of MEG3 in a dose-dependent manner, while knockdown of pRb/p107 attenuated this effect. In addition, expression of phosphorylation-deficient mutant of pRb increased MEG3 levels in both lung cancer cell types. Treatment of these cells with palbociclib also decreased the expression of pRb-regulated DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), while conversely, knockdown of DNMT1 resulted in increased expression of MEG3. As gene methylation has been suggested for MEG3 regulation, we found that palbociclib resulted in decreased methylation of the MEG3 locus similar to that observed with 5-aza-deoxycytidine. Anti-sense oligonucleotide silencing of drug-induced MEG3 expression in A549 and SK-MES-1 cells partially rescued the palbociclib-mediated decrease in cell proliferation, while analysis of the TCGA database revealed decreased MEG3 expression in human lung tumors harboring a disrupted RB pathway. Together, these data suggest that disruption of the pRb-DNMT1 pathway leads to a decrease in MEG3 expression, thereby contributing to the pro-proliferative state of certain cancer cells.
Project description:Individual members of the retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor gene family serve critical roles in the control of cellular proliferation and differentiation, but the extent of their contributions is masked by redundant and compensatory mechanisms. Here we employed a conditional knockout strategy to simultaneously inactivate all three members, Rb, p107, and p130, in adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Rb family triple knockout (TKO) mice develop a cell-intrinsic myeloproliferation that originates from hyperproliferative early hematopoietic progenitors and is accompanied by increased apoptosis in lymphoid progenitor populations. Loss of quiescence in the TKO HSC pool is associated with an expansion of these mutant stem cells but also with an enhanced mobilization and an impaired reconstitution potential upon transplantation. The presence of a single p107 allele is sufficient to largely rescue these defects. Thus, Rb family members collectively maintain HSC quiescence and the balance between lymphoid and myeloid cell fates in the hematopoietic system.
Project description:Retinoblastoma (Rb) protein is a tumor suppressor that is dysregulated in a majority of human cancers. Rb functions to inhibit cell cycle progression in part by directly disabling the E2F family of cell cycle-promoting transcription factors. Because the de novo synthesis of multiple glutamine-derived anabolic precursors is required for cell cycle progression, we hypothesized that Rb also may directly regulate proteins involved in glutamine metabolism. We examined glutamine metabolism in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) isolated from mice that have triple knock-outs (TKO) of all three Rb family members (Rb-1, Rbl1 and Rbl2) and found that loss of global Rb function caused a marked increase in (13)C-glutamine uptake and incorporation into glutamate and tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) intermediates in part via upregulated expression of the glutamine transporter ASCT2 and the activity of glutaminase 1 (GLS1). The Rb-controlled transcription factor E2F-3 altered glutamine uptake by direct regulation of ASCT2 mRNA and protein expression, and E2F-3 was observed to associate with the ASCT2 promoter. We next examined the functional consequences of the observed increase in glutamine uptake and utilization and found that glutamine exposure potently increased oxygen consumption, whereas glutamine deprivation selectively decreased ATP concentration in the Rb TKO MEFs but not the wild-type (WT) MEFs. In addition, TKO MEFs exhibited elevated production of glutathione from exogenous glutamine and had increased expression of gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase relative to WT MEFs. Importantly, this metabolic shift towards glutamine utilization was required for the proliferation of Rb TKO MEFs but not for the proliferation of the WT MEFs. Last, addition of the TCA cycle intermediate ?-ketoglutarate to the Rb TKO MEFs reversed the inhibitory effects of glutamine deprivation on ATP, GSH levels and viability. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that the Rb/E2F cascade directly regulates a major energetic and anabolic pathway that is required for neoplastic growth.
Project description:The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ? (C/EBP?) is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor and is expressed in alveolar type II cells, alveolar macrophages and Clara cells in the lung. Although decrease or absence of C/EBP? expression in human non-small cell lung cancer suggests a possible role of C/EBP? as a lung tumor suppressor, there is no direct proof for this hypothesis. In this study, we investigated, for the first time, the role of C/EBP? in lung tumors in vivo using transgenic mice with lung epithelial specific conditional deletion of Cebpa (Cebp?(?/?) mice) and a urethane-induced lung tumor model. C/EBP? expression in the lung was dispensable, and its deletion was not oncogenic under unstressed conditions. However, at 28 wk after urethane injection, the number and size of tumors and the tumor burden were significantly higher in Cebp?(?/?) mice than in littermate control mice. Urethane-injected Cebp?(?/?) mice showed highly proliferative adenomas and adenocarcinomas in the lung, and survival time after urethane-injection was significantly shorter than that in control mice. In control mice, C/EBP? was strongly induced in the tumor tissues at 28 weeks after urethane-injection, but became weakened or absent as tumors progressed after long-term observation for over 1 year. Using intraperitoneal injection of p38 inhibitor (SB203580), we demonstrated that the induction of C/EBP? is strongly regulated by the p38 MAP kinase in murine alveolar epithelial cells. A high correlation was demonstrated between the expression of C/EBP? and p38? MAP kinase in tumor cells, suggesting that C/EBP? silencing in tumor cells is caused by down-regulation of p38? MAP kinase. In conclusion, the role of C/EBP? as a lung tumor suppressor was demonstrated for the first time in the present study, and the extinguished C/EBP? expression through p38? inactivation leads tumor promotion and progression.
Project description:Twist1 is an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing transcription factor (TF) that promotes cell migration and invasion. To determine the intrinsic role of Twist1 in EMT and breast cancer initiation, growth, and metastasis, we developed mouse models with an oncogene-induced mammary tumor containing wild-type (WT) <i>Twist1</i> or tumor cell-specific <i>Twist1</i> knockout (Twist1<sup>TKO</sup>). <i>Twist1</i> knockout showed no effects on tumor initiation and growth. In both models with early-stage tumor cells, Twist1, and mesenchymal markers were not expressed, and lung metastasis was absent. Twist1 expression was detected in ?6% of the advanced WT tumor cells. Most of these Twist1<sup>+</sup> cells coexpressed several other EMT-inducing TFs (Snail, Slug, Zeb2), lost ER? and luminal marker K8, acquired basal cell markers (K5, p63), and exhibited a partial EMT plasticity (E-cadherin<sup>+</sup>/vimentin<sup>+</sup>). In advanced Twist1<sup>TKO</sup> tumor cells, <i>Twist1</i> knockout largely diminished the expression of the aforementioned EMT-inducing TFs and basal and mesenchymal markers, but maintained the expression of the luminal markers. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were commonly detected in mice with advanced WT tumors, but not in mice with advanced Twist1<sup>TKO</sup> tumors. Nearly all WT CTCs coexpressed Twist1 with other EMT-inducing TFs and both epithelial and mesenchymal markers. Mice with advanced WT tumors developed extensive lung metastasis consisting of luminal tumor cells with silenced Twist1 and mesenchymal marker expression. Mice with advanced Twist1<sup>TKO</sup> tumors developed very little lung metastasis. Therefore, Twist1 is required for the expression of other EMT-inducing TFs in a small subset of tumor cells. Together, they induce partial EMT, basal-like tumor progression, intravasation, and metastasis.
Project description:Cancer susceptibility results from interactions between sensitivity and resistance alleles. We employed murine chromosome substitution strains to study how resistance alleles affected sensitive alleles during chemically-induced lung carcinogenesis. The C57BL/6J-Chr#(A/J) strains, constructed by selectively breeding sensitive A/J and resistant C57BL/6J (B6) mice, each contain one pair of A/J chromosomes within an otherwise B6 genome. Pas1, the major locus responsible for this differential strain response to urethane carcinogenesis, resides on Chr 6, but C57BL/6J-Chr6(A/J) mice (hereafter CSS-6) developed few tumors following a single urethane injection, which demonstrates epistatic interactions with other B6 alleles. CSS6 mice developed dozens of lung tumors after chronic urethane exposure, however, indicating that these epistatic interactions could be overcome by repeated carcinogen administration. Unlike A/J, but similar to B6 mice, CSS6 mice were resistant to lung carcinogenesis induced by 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA). Tumor multiplicity increased if BHT administration followed urethane exposure, showing that a Chr 6 gene(s) regulates sensitivity to chemically-induced tumor promotion. Unlike A/J tumors (predominantly codon 61 A-->T transversions), Kras mutations in tumors induced by urethane in CSS-6 mice were similar to B6 tumors (codon 61 A-->G transitions). DNA repair genes not located on Chr 6 may determine the nature of Kras mutations. CSS-6 mice are a valuable resource for testing the ability of candidate genes to modulate lung carcinogenesis.
Project description:Genetic alterations in human cancers and murine models indicate that retinoblastoma (Rb) and p53 have critical tumor suppressive functions in retinoblastoma, a tumor of neural origin, and neuroendocrine tumors including small cell lung cancer and medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Rb inactivation is the initiating lesion in retinoblastoma and current models propose that induction of apoptosis is a key p53 tumor suppressive function. Genetic studies in mice, however, indicate that other undefined p53 tumor suppressive functions are operative in vivo. How p53 loss cooperates with Rb inactivation to promote carcinogenesis is also not fully understood. In the current study, genetically engineered mice were generated to determine the role of Rb and p53 in MTC pathogenesis and test the hypothesis that p53 suppresses carcinogenesis by inhibiting mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Conditional Rb ablation resulted in thyroid tumors mimicking human MTC, and additional p53 loss led to rapid tumor progression. p53 suppressed tumorigenesis by inhibiting cell cycle progression, but did not induce apoptosis. On the contrary, p53 loss led to increased apoptosis that had to be overcome for tumor progression. The mTOR activity was markedly increased in p53-deficient tumors and rapamycin treatment suppressed tumor cell growth, identifying mTOR inhibition as a critical p53 tumor suppressive function. Rapamycin treatment did not result in AKT/mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, providing evidence that this feedback mechanism operative in other cancers is not a general response to mTORC1 inhibition. Together, these studies provide mechanistic links between genetic alterations and aberrant signaling pathways critical in carcinogenesis, and identify essential Rb and p53 tumor suppressive functions in vivo.
Project description:Cell differentiation and proliferation are mutually exclusive. Although differentiating neurons are recognized as post-mitotic non-dividing cells, some Rb- and Rb family (Rb, p107, and p130)-deficient differentiating neurons proliferate and form tumor. Here, we found that the acute inactivation of all Rb family in differentiating cortical excitatory neurons caused radial migration defect and S-phase progression but not cell division, whereas that in cortical progenitors caused the cell division of the differentiating neurons generated from Rb â??/â??; p107 â??/â??; p130 â??/â?? (Rb-TKO) progenitors. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis revealed that proximal promoters tended to become methylated during differentiation in vivo. DNA demethylation by DNA methyltransferase inhibitor allowed the acutely inactivated Rb-TKO differentiating neurons to undergo G2/M-phase progression. Our finding illustrate that cortical excitatory neurons epigenetically lose their proliferative potency after neurogenesis. 4 samples of the V/SVZ (ventricular/subventricular zone) tissue and 4 samples of the CP (cortical plate) tissue
Project description:Matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP-10; stromelysin 2) is a member of a large family of structurally related matrix metalloproteinases, many of which have been implicated in tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. We recently identified Mmp10 as a gene that is highly induced in tumor-initiating lung bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs) upon activation of oncogenic Kras in a mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma. However, the potential role of Mmp10 in lung tumorigenesis has not been addressed. Here, we demonstrate that Mmp10 is overexpressed in lung tumors induced by either the smoke carcinogen urethane or oncogenic Kras. In addition, we report a significant reduction in lung tumor number and size after urethane exposure or genetic activation of oncogenic Kras in Mmp10 null (Mmp10(-/-)) mice. This inhibitory effect is reflected in a defect in the ability of Mmp10-deficient BASCs to expand and undergo transformation in response to urethane or oncogenic Kras in vivo and in vitro, demonstrating a role for Mmp10 in the tumor-initiating activity of Kras-transformed lung stem cells. To determine the potential relevance of MMP10 in human cancer we analyzed Mmp10 expression in publicly-available gene expression profiles of human cancers. Our analysis reveals that MMP10 is highly overexpressed in human lung tumors. Gene set enhancement analysis (GSEA) demonstrates that elevated MMP10 expression correlates with both cancer stem cell and tumor metastasis genomic signatures in human lung cancer. Finally, Mmp10 is elevated in many human tumor types suggesting a widespread role for Mmp10 in human malignancy. We conclude that Mmp10 plays an important role in lung tumor initiation via maintenance of a highly tumorigenic, cancer-initiating, stem-like cell population, and that Mmp10 expression is associated with stem-like, highly metastatic genotypes in human lung cancers. These results indicate that Mmp10 may represent a novel therapeutic approach to target lung cancer stem cells.