Human disease-associated extracellular matrix orthologs ECM3 and QBRICK regulate primary mesenchymal cell migration in sea urchin embryos.
ABSTRACT: Sea urchin embryos have been one of model organisms to investigate cellular behaviors because of their simple cell composition and transparent body. They also give us an opportunity to investigate molecular functions of human proteins of interest that are conserved in sea urchin. Here we report that human disease-associated extracellular matrix orthologues ECM3 and QBRICK are necessary for mesenchymal cell migration during sea urchin embryogenesis. Immunofluorescence has visualized the colocalization of QBRICK and ECM3 on both apical and basal surface of ectoderm. On the basal surface, QBRICK and ECM3 constitute together a mesh-like fibrillar structure along the blastocoel wall. When the expression of ECM3 was knocked down by antisense-morpholino oligonucleotides, the ECM3-QBRICK fibrillar structure completely disappeared. When QBRICK was knocked down, the ECM3 was still present, but the basally localized fibers became fragmented. The ingression and migration of primary mesenchymal cells were not critically affected, but their migration at later stages was severely affected in both knock-down embryos. As a consequence of impaired primary mesenchymal cell migration, improper spicule formation was observed. These results indicate that ECM3 and QBRICK are components of extracellular matrix, which play important role in primary mesenchymal cell migration, and that sea urchin is a useful experimental animal model to investigate human disease-associated extracellular matrix proteins.
Project description:We recently showed that differential expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes delineates four subgroups of breast carcinomas (ECM1, -2, -3- and -4) with different clinical outcome. To further investigate the characteristics of ECM signature and its impact on tumor progression, we conducted unsupervised clustering analyses in 6 additional independent datasets of invasive breast tumors from different platforms for a total of 643 samples. Use of four different clustering algorithms identified ECM3 tumors as an independent group in all datasets tested. ECM3 showed a homogeneous gene pattern, consisting of 58 genes encoding 43 structural ECM proteins. From 26 to 41% of the cases were ECM3-enriched, and analysis of datasets relevant to gene expression in neoplastic or corresponding stromal cells showed that both stromal and breast carcinoma cells can coordinately express ECM3 genes. In in vitro experiments, ?-estradiol induced ECM3 gene production in ER-positive breast carcinoma cell lines, whereas TGF? induced upregulation of the genes leading to ECM3 gene classification, especially in ER-negative breast carcinoma cells and in fibroblasts. Multivariate analysis of distant metastasis-free survival in untreated breast tumor patients revealed a significant interaction between ECM3 and histological grade (p?=?0.001). Cox models, estimated separately in grade I-II and grade III tumors, indicated a highly significant association between ECM3 and worse survival probability only in grade III tumors (HR?=?3.0, 95% CI?=?1.3-7.0, p?=?0.0098). Gene Set Enrichment analysis of ECM3 compared to non-ECM3 tumors revealed significant enrichment of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes in both grade I-II and grade III subsets of ECM3 tumors. Thus, ECM3 is a robust cluster that identifies breast carcinomas with EMT features but with accelerated metastatic potential only in the undifferentiated (grade III) phenotype. These findings support the key relevance of neoplastic and stroma interaction in breast cancer progression.
Project description:Transcription factor SoxC is required for all neural development in purple sea urchin S. purpuratus embryos. To begin to develop a gene regulatory network for neural development, we used RNA-Seq to compare transcript populations in SoxC knockdown and control embryos. SoxC function was knocked down by morpholino oligo injection. RNA from about 1000 embryos were collected for both control and knockdown samples.
Project description:Peri-cellular remodeling of mesenchymal extracellular matrices is considered a prerequisite for cell proliferation, motility and development. Here we demonstrate that membrane-type 3 MMP, MT3-MMP, is expressed in mesenchymal tissues of the skeleton and in peri-skeletal soft connective tissue. Consistent with this localization, MT3-MMP-deficient mice display growth inhibition tied to a decreased viability of mesenchymal cells in skeletal tissues. We document that MT3-MMP works as a major collagenolytic enzyme, enabling cartilage and bone cells to cleave high-density fibrillar collagen and modulate their resident matrix to make it permissive for proliferation and migration. Collectively, these data uncover a novel extracellular matrix remodeling mechanism required for proper function of mesenchymal cells. The physiological significance of MT3-MMP is highlighted in mice double deficient for MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP. Double deficiency transcends the combined effects of the individual single deficiencies and leads to severe embryonic defects in palatogenesis and bone formation incompatible with life. These defects are directly tied to loss of indispensable collagenolytic activities required in collagen-rich mesenchymal tissues for extracellular matrix remodeling and cell proliferation during embryogenesis.
Project description:We previously identified an extracellular matrix (ECM) gene expression pattern in breast cancer (BC), called ECM3, characterized by a high expression of genes encoding structural ECM proteins. Since ECM is reportedly implicated in response to therapy of BCs, the aim of this work is to investigate the prognostic and predictive value of ECM3 molecular classification in HER2-positive BCs. ECM3 resulted in a robust cluster that identified a subset of 25-37% of HER2-positive tumors with molecular aggressive features. ECM3 was significantly associated with worse prognosis in two datasets of HER2-positive BCs untreated with adjuvant therapy. Analyses carried out on two of our cohorts of patients treated or not with adjuvant trastuzumab showed association of ECM3 with worse prognosis only in patients not treated with trastuzumab. Moreover, investigating a dataset that includes gene profile data of tumors treated with neoadjuvant trastuzumab plus chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone, ECM3 was associated with increased pathological complete response if treated with trastuzumab. In the in vivo experiments, increased diffusion and trastuzumab activity were found in tumors derived from injection of HER2-positive cells with Matrigel that creates an ECM-rich tumor environment. Taken together, these results indicate that HER2-positive BCs classified as ECM3 have an aggressive phenotype but they are sensitive to trastuzumab treatment.
Project description:Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling is essential for processes involving cell motility and differentiation during embryonic development in a wide variety of organisms including the mouse, frog, zebrafish, and sea urchin. In early Xenopus laevis embryos, PDGF-AA provides guidance cues for the migration of anterior mesendoderm cells as they move across a fibronectin-rich extracellular matrix. The long form of PDGF-A includes a positively charged carboxyl-terminal retention motif that can interact with the extracellular matrix and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). In this study we demonstrate that PDGF-AA binds directly to fibronectin and that this association is greatly enhanced by heparin. The PDGF-AA-fibronectin binding occurs across a broad range of pHs (5.5-9), which is significant because the PDGF-guided migration of Xenopus mesendoderm cells occurs under basic extracellular conditions (pH 8.4). We further demonstrate that endogenous HSPG's are required for the PDGF-AA-guided mesendoderm movement, suggesting an in vivo role for HSPGs in mediating the interaction between PDGF-AA and fibronectin.
Project description:Molecular analysis techniques such as gene expression analysis and proteomics have contributed greatly to our understanding of cancer heterogeneity. In prior studies, gene expression analysis was shown to stratify patient outcome on the basis of tumor-microenvironment associated genes. A specific gene expression profile, referred to as ECM3 (Extracellular Matrix Cluster 3), indicated poorer survival in patients with grade III tumors. In this work, we aimed to visualize the downstream effects of this gene expression profile onto the tissue, thus providing a spatial context to altered gene expression profiles. Using infrared spectroscopic imaging, we identified spectral patterns specific to the ECM3 gene expression profile, achieving a high spectral classification performance of 0.87 as measured by the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curve. On a patient level, we correctly identified 20 out of 22 ECM3 group patients and 19 out of 20 non-ECM3 group patients by using this spectroscopic imaging-based classifier. By comparing pixels that were identified as ECM3 or non-ECM3 with H&E and IHC images, we were also able to observe an association between tissue morphology and the gene expression clusters, showing the ability of our method to capture broad outcome associated features from infrared images.
Project description:The medial epithelial seam (MES) between the palatal shelves degrades during palatal fusion to achieve the confluence of palatal mesenchyme. Cellular mechanisms underlying the degradation of MES have been proposed, such as apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migration of medial edge epithelia (MEE). Extracellular matrix components have been shown to play an important role in EMT in many model systems. Periostin (also known as osteoblast-specific factor-2) is a secreted mesenchymal extracellular matrix component that affects the ability of cells to migrate and/or facilitates EMT during both embryonic development and pathologic conditions. In this study, we evaluated the spatiotemporal expression patterns of periostin during mouse palatal fusion by in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence. Periostin mRNA and protein were present in the palatal mesenchyme, the protein being distributed in a fine fibrillar network and in the basement membrane, but absent from the epithelium. During MES degradation, the protein was strongly expressed in the basement membrane underlying the MES and in some select MEE. Confocal microscopic analysis using an EMT marker, twist1, and an epithelial marker, cytokeratin 14, provided evidence that select MEE were undergoing EMT in association with periostin. Moreover, the major extracellular matrix molecules in basement membrane, laminin and collagen type IV were degraded earlier than periostin. The result is that select MEE establish interactions with periostin in the mesenchymal extracellular matrix, and these new cell-matrix interactions may regulate MEE transdifferentiation during palatal fusion.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) enhances the migration and invasion of cancer cells, and is regulated by various molecular mechanisms including extracellular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. Previously, we reported transformation of epithelial Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells with oncogenic H-Ras (21D1 cells) induces EMT, and significantly elevates MMP1 expression. To explore the biological significance, in this study we characterized 21D1 cells with knocked-down MMP1 expression (21D1(-MMP1)). MMP1 silencing diminished 21D1 cell migration, invasion and anchorage-independent growth in vitro. Additionally, 21D1(-MMP1) cells displayed reduced tumour volume when grown as in vivo subcutaneous xenografts in mice. Depletion of MMP1 lowered the ability of the cellular secretome (extracellular culture medium) to influence recipient cell behaviour. For example, supplementation with 21D1 secretome elevated cell migration of recipient fibroblasts, and enhanced endothelial cell angiogenesis (vessel length and branching). By contrast, 21D1(-MMP1) secretome was less potent in both functional assays. We reveal laminin subunit alpha-5 (LAMA5) as a novel biological substrate of MMP1, that generates internal and C-terminal proteolytic fragments in 21D1 secretome. Furthermore, antibody-based inhibition of integrin ?v?3 on endothelial cells nullified the angiogenic capability of 21D1 secretome. Therefore, we report this as a new VEGF-independent mechanism that oncogenic cells may employ to promote tumour angiogenesis.
Project description:Although the development of sea urchin embryos has been studied extensively and clearly involves both cell adhesion and cell migration, rather little is known about the adhesion receptors and extracellular matrix molecules involved. The completion of the genome of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus allows a comprehensive survey of the complement of cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion molecules in this organism. Furthermore, the phylogenetic position of echinoderms offers the opportunity to compare the complement of adhesion proteins between protostome and deuterostome invertebrates and between invertebrate and vertebrate deuterostomes. Many aspects of development and cell interactions differ among these different taxa and it is likely that analysis of the spectrum of adhesion receptors and extracellular matrix proteins can open up new insights into which molecules have evolved to suit particular developmental processes. In this paper, we report the results of an initial analysis along these lines. The echinoderm adhesome (complement of adhesion-related genes/proteins) is similar overall to that of other invertebrates although there are significant deuterostome-specific innovations and some interesting features previously thought to be chordate or vertebrate specific.
Project description:Biofabrication is providing scientists and clinicians the ability to produce engineered tissues with desired shapes and gradients of composition and biological cues. Typical resolutions achieved with extrusion-based bioprinting are at the macroscopic level. However, for capturing the fibrillar nature of the extracellular matrix (ECM), it is necessary to arrange ECM components at smaller scales, down to the micron and the molecular level. Herein, we introduce a bioink containing the tyramine derivative of hyaluronan (HA; henceforth known as THA) and collagen (Col) type 1. In this bioink, similar to connective tissues, Col is present in the fibrillar form, and HA functions as a viscoelastic space filler. THA was enzymatically cross-linked under mild conditions allowing simultaneous Col fibrillogenesis, thus achieving a homogeneous distribution of Col fibrils within the viscoelastic HA-based matrix. The THA-Col composite displayed synergistic properties in terms of storage modulus and shear thinning, translating into good printability. Shear-induced alignment of the Col fibrils along the printing direction was achieved and quantified via immunofluorescence and second-harmonic generation. Cell-free and cell-laden constructs were printed and characterized, analyzing the influence of the controlled microscopic anisotropy on human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSC) migration. Anisotropic HA-Col showed cell-instructive properties modulating hMSC adhesion, morphology, and migration from micropellets stimulated by the presence and the orientation of Col fibers. Actin filament staining showed that hMSCs embedded in aligned constructs displayed increased cytoskeleton alignment along the fibril direction. Based on gene expression of cartilage/bone markers and ECM production, hMSCs embedded in the isotropic bioink displayed chondrogenic differentiation comparable with standard pellet culture by means of proteoglycan production (safranin O staining and proteoglycan quantification). The possibility of printing matrix components with control over microscopic alignment brings biofabrication one step closer to capturing the complexity of native tissues.