Ets homologous factor (EHF) has critical roles in epithelial dysfunction in airway disease.
ABSTRACT: The airway epithelium forms a barrier between the internal and external environments. Epithelial dysfunction is critical in the pathology of many respiratory diseases, including cystic fibrosis. Ets homologous factor (EHF) is a key member of the transcription factor network that regulates gene expression in the airway epithelium in response to endogenous and exogenous stimuli. EHF, which has altered expression in inflammatory states, maps to the 5' end of an intergenic region on Chr11p13 that is implicated as a modifier of cystic fibrosis airway disease. Here we determine the functions of EHF in primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells and relevant airway cell lines. Using EHF ChIP followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA sequencing after EHF depletion, we show that EHF targets in HBE cells are enriched for genes involved in inflammation and wound repair. Furthermore, changes in gene expression impact cell phenotype because EHF depletion alters epithelial secretion of a neutrophil chemokine and slows wound closure in HBE cells. EHF activates expression of the SAM pointed domain-containing ETS transcription factor, which contributes to goblet cell hyperplasia. Our data reveal a critical role for EHF in regulating epithelial function in lung disease.
Project description:E74-like factor 5 (ELF5) and ETS-homologous factor (EHF) are epithelial selective ETS family transcription factors (TFs) encoded by genes at chr11p13, a region associated with cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease severity. EHF controls many key processes in lung epithelial function so its regulatory mechanisms are important. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we removed three key cis-regulatory elements (CREs) from the chr11p13 region and also activated multiple open chromatin sites with CRISPRa in airway epithelial cells. Deletion of the CREs caused subtle changes in chromatin architecture and site-specific increases in EHF and ELF5. CRISPRa had most effect on ELF5 transcription. ELF5 levels are low in airway cells but higher in LNCaP (prostate) and T47D (breast) cancer cells. ATAC-seq in these lines revealed novel peaks of open chromatin at the 5' end of chr11p13 associated with an expressed ELF5 gene. Furthermore, 4C-seq assays identified direct interactions between the active ELF5 promoter and sites within the EHF locus, suggesting coordinate regulation between these TFs. ChIP-seq for ELF5 in T47D cells revealed ELF5 occupancy within EHF introns 1 and 6, and siRNA-mediated depletion of ELF5 enhanced EHF expression. These results define a new role for ELF5 in lung epithelial biology.
Project description:Ets homologous factor (EHF) is an Ets family transcription factor expressed in many epithelial cell types including those lining the respiratory system. Disruption of the airway epithelium is central to many lung diseases, and a network of transcription factors coordinates its normal function. EHF can act as a transcriptional activator or a repressor. Using EHF ChIP-seq and RNA-seq after EHF depletion, we show its targets in HBE cells are enriched for genes involved in degradation of misfolded proteins, inflammation, and wound repair. Overall design: mRNA profiles from primary human bronchial epithelial cells treated with negative control (NC) or EHF siRNA, in quintuplicate.
Project description:The cornea, composed of epithelium, stroma and endothelium, protects the anterior compartment of the eye from damage and allows transmission of light into the eye. While well described morphologically, no studies have investigated the global gene expression changes in the cornea throughout the mouseM-bM-^@M-^Ys life. We characterized the global gene expression profile of mouse cornea from early development through aging, and compared to gene expression in other epithelial tissue, to identify cornea enriched genes, pathways, and transcriptional regulators. We identified Ehf, an ets family transcription factor, as being highly selectively expressed in the corneal epithelium compared to the stroma, and highly expressed in cornea compared to other epithelial tissues. siRNA experiments and Ehf ChIP-Seq on mouse corneal epithelium confirm the role of this factor in promoting epithelial identity and cell differentiation, and suggest it carries out these functions through interactions with other cornea epithelial differentiation factors including Klf4. Whole eye globes were dissected from wild type CB6 mice. Corneal epithelium was isolated by digestion in 50% EMEM/dispase II with 50 mM sorbitol for two hours at 37M-BM-0C. ChIP was performed with an Ehf antibody, and was sequenced with an input control.
Project description:Ets homologous factor (EHF) is an Ets family transcription factor expressed in many epithelial cell types including those lining the respiratory system. Disruption of the airway epithelium is central to many lung diseases, and a network of transcription factors coordinates its normal function. EHF can act as a transcriptional activator or a repressor, though its targets in lung epithelial cells are largely uncharacterized. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq), showed that the majority of EHF binding sites in lung epithelial cells are intergenic or intronic and coincide with putative enhancers, marked by specific histone modifications. EHF occupies many genomic sites that are close to genes involved in intercellular and cell-matrix adhesion. RNA-seq after EHF depletion or overexpression showed significant alterations in the expression of genes involved in response to wounding. EHF knockdown also targeted genes in pathways of epithelial development and differentiation and locomotory behavior. These changes in gene expression coincided with alterations in cellular phenotype including slowed wound closure and increased transepithelial resistance. Our data suggest that EHF regulates gene pathways critical for epithelial response to injury, including those involved in maintenance of barrier function, inflammation and efficient wound repair.
Project description:Ets homologous factor (EHF) is an Ets family transcription factor expressed in many epithelial cell types including those lining the respiratory system. Disruption of the airway epithelium is central to many lung diseases, and a network of transcription factors coordinates its normal function. EHF can act as a transcriptional activator or a repressor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq), showed that EHF binding sites in lung epithelial cells are enriched at promoters and coincide with putative enhancers, marked by specific histone modifications. Using EHF ChIP-seq and RNA-seq after EHF depletion, we show its targets in HBE cells are enriched for genes involved in degradation of misfolded proteins, inflammation, and wound repair. Overall design: Examination of EHF binding plus three histone modifications in primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. Also examined c-Jun and JunD binding in Calu-3 cells. There are two replicates of the EHF, c-Jun and JunD ChIP-seq plus an input sample (control). There is one replicate each of the three histone modifications.
Project description:Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene cause cystic fibrosis (CF), but are not good predictors of lung phenotype. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) previously identified additional genomic sites associated with CF lung disease severity. One of these, at chromosome 11p13, is an intergenic region between Ets homologous factor (EHF) and Apaf-1 interacting protein (APIP). Our goal was to determine the functional significance of this region, which being intergenic is probably regulatory. To identify cis-acting elements, we used DNase-seq and H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac ChIP-seq to map open and active chromatin respectively, in lung epithelial cells. Two elements showed strong enhancer activity for the promoters of EHF and the 5' adjacent gene E47 like ETS transcription factor 5 (ELF5) in reporter gene assays. No enhancers of the APIP promoter were found. Circular chromosome conformation capture (4C-seq) identified direct physical interactions of elements within 11p13. This confirmed the enhancer-promoter associations, identified additional interacting elements and defined topologically associating domain (TAD) boundaries, enriched for CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF). No strong interactions were observed with the APIP promoter, which lies outside the main TAD encompassing the GWAS signal. These results focus attention on the role of EHF in modifying CF lung disease severity.
Project description:The cornea is the clear, outermost portion of the eye composed of three layers: an epithelium that provides a protective barrier while allowing transmission of light into the eye, a collagen-rich stroma, and an endothelium monolayer. How cornea development and aging is controlled is poorly understood. Here we characterize the mouse cornea transcriptome from early embryogenesis through aging and compare it with transcriptomes of other epithelial tissues, identifying cornea-enriched genes, pathways, and transcriptional regulators. Additionally, we profiled cornea epithelium and stroma, defining genes enriched in these layers. Over 10,000 genes are differentially regulated in the mouse cornea across the time course, showing dynamic expression during development and modest expression changes in fewer genes during aging. A striking transition time point for gene expression between postnatal days 14 and 28 corresponds with completion of cornea development at the transcriptional level. Clustering classifies co-expressed, and potentially co-regulated, genes into biologically informative categories, including groups that exhibit epithelial or stromal enriched expression. Based on these findings, and through loss of function studies and ChIP-seq, we show that the Ets transcription factor EHF promotes cornea epithelial fate through complementary gene activating and repressing activities. Furthermore, we identify potential interactions between EHF, KLF4, and KLF5 in promoting cornea epithelial differentiation. These data provide insights into the mechanisms underlying epithelial development and aging, identifying EHF as a regulator of cornea epithelial identity and pointing to interactions between Ets and KLF factors in promoting epithelial fate. Furthermore, this comprehensive gene expression data set for the cornea is a powerful tool for discovery of novel cornea regulators and pathways.
Project description:The epithelium-specific ETS (ESE) transcription factors (ELF3, ELF5, EHF and SPDEF) are defined by their highly conserved ETS DNA binding domain and predominant epithelial-specific expression profile. ESE transcription factors maintain normal cell homeostasis and differentiation of a number of epithelial tissues, and their genetic alteration and deregulated expression has been linked to the progression of several epithelial cancers. Herein we review the normal function of the ESE transcription factors, the mechanisms by which they are dysregulated in cancers, and the current evidence for their role in cancer progression. Finally, we discuss potential therapeutic strategies for targeting or reactivating these factors as a novel means of cancer treatment.
Project description:The three-base-pair deletion c.1521_1523delCTT (p.Phe508del, F508del) in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is the most frequent disease-causing lesion in cystic fibrosis (CF). The CFTR gene encodes a chloride and bicarbonate channel at the apical membrane of epithelial cells. Altered ion transport of CFTR-expressing epithelia can be used to differentiate manifestations of the so-called CF basic defect. Recently, an 11p13 region has been described as a CF modifier by the North American CF Genetic Modifier Study Consortium. Selecting the epithelial-specific transcription factor EHF (ets homologous factor) as the likely candidate gene on 11p13, we have genotyped two intragenic microsatellites in EHF to replicate the 11p13 finding in the patient cohort of the European CF Twin and Sibling Study. We could observe an association of rare EHF haplotypes among homozygotes for c.1521_1523delCTT in CFTR, which exhibit a CF-untypical manifestation of the CF basic defect such as CFTR-mediated residual chloride secretion and low response to amiloride. We have reviewed transcriptome data obtained from intestinal epithelial samples of homozygotes for c.1521_1523delCTT in CFTR, which were stratified for their EHF genetic background. Transcripts that were upregulated among homozygotes for c.1521_1523delCTT in CFTR, who carry two rare EHF alleles, were enriched for genes that alter protein glycosylation and trafficking, both mechanisms being pivotal for the effective targeting of fully functional p.Phe508del-CFTR to the apical membrane of epithelial cells. We conclude that EHF modifies the CF phenotype by altering capabilities of the epithelial cell to correctly process the folding and trafficking of mutant p.Phe508del-CFTR.
Project description:The availability of robust protocols to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into many human cell lineages has transformed research into the origins of human disease. The efficacy of differentiating iPSCs into specific cellular models is influenced by many factors including both intrinsic and extrinsic features. Among the most challenging models is the generation of human bronchial epithelium at air-liquid interface (HBE-ALI), which is the gold standard for many studies of respiratory diseases including cystic fibrosis. Here, we perform open chromatin mapping by ATAC-seq and transcriptomics by RNA-seq in parallel, to define the functional genomics of key stages of the iPSC to HBE-ALI differentiation. Within open chromatin peaks, the overrepresented motifs include the architectural protein CTCF at all stages, while motifs for the FOXA pioneer and GATA factor families are seen more often at early stages, and those regulating key airway epithelial functions, such as EHF, are limited to later stages. The RNA-seq data illustrate dynamic pathways during the iPSC to HBE-ALI differentiation, and also the marked functional divergence of different iPSC lines at the ALI stages of differentiation. Moreover, a comparison of iPSC-derived and lung donor-derived HBE-ALI cultures reveals substantial differences between these models.