Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most deadly gynaecologic malignancy due to late onset of symptoms and propensity towards drug resistance. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been linked to the development of chemoresistance in other cancers, yet little is known regarding its role in EOC. In this study, we sought to determine the role of the transcription factor TWIST1, a master regulator of EMT, on cisplatin resistance in an EOC model. We created two Ovcar8-derived cell lines that differed only in their TWIST1 expression. TWIST1 expression led to increased tumour engraftment in mice, as well as cisplatin resistance in vitro. RNA sequencing analysis revealed that TWIST1 expression resulted in upregulation of GAS6 and L1CAM and downregulation of HMGA2. Knockdown studies of these genes demonstrated that loss of GAS6 or L1CAM sensitized cells to cisplatin, but that loss of HMGA2 did not give rise to chemoresistance. TWIST1, in part via GAS6 and L1CAM, led to higher expression and activation of Akt upon cisplatin treatment, and inhibition of Akt activation sensitized cells to cisplatin. These results suggest TWIST1- and EMT-driven increase in Akt activation, and thus tumour cell proliferation, as a potential mechanism of drug resistance in EOC.
Project description:Patients with EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have significantly benefited from the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, long-term efficacy of these therapies is limited due to de novo resistance (~30%) as well as acquired resistance. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition transcription factors (EMT-TFs), have been identified as drivers of EMT-mediated resistance to EGFR TKIs, however, strategies to target EMT-TFs are lacking. As the third generation EGFR TKI, osimertinib, has now been adopted in the first-line setting, the frequency of T790M mutations will significantly decrease in the acquired resistance setting. Previously less common mechanisms of acquired resistance to first generation EGFR TKIs including EMT are now being observed at an increased frequency after osimertinib. Importantly, there are no other FDA approved targeted therapies after progression on osimertinib. Here, we investigated a novel strategy to overcome EGFR TKI resistance through targeting the EMT-TF, TWIST1, in EGFR-mutant NSCLC. We demonstrated that genetic silencing of TWIST1 or treatment with the TWIST1 inhibitor, harmine, resulted in growth inhibition and apoptosis in EGFR-mutant NSCLC. TWIST1 overexpression resulted in erlotinib and osimertinib resistance in EGFR-mutant NSCLC cells. Conversely, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of TWIST1 in EGFR TKI-resistant EGFR-mutant cells increased sensitivity to EGFR TKIs. TWIST1-mediated EGFR TKI resistance was due in part to TWIST1 suppression of transcription of the pro-apoptotic BH3-only gene, BCL2L11 (BIM), by directly binding to BCL2L11 intronic regions and promoter. As such, pan-BCL2 inhibitor treatment overcame TWIST1-mediated EGFR TKI resistance and were more effective in the setting of TWIST1 overexpression. Finally, in a mouse model of autochthonous EGFR-mutant lung cancer, Twist1 overexpression resulted in erlotinib resistance and suppression of erlotinib-induced apoptosis. These studies establish TWIST1 as a driver of resistance to EGFR TKIs and provide rationale for use of TWIST1 inhibitors or BCL2 inhibitors as means to overcome EMT-mediated resistance to EGFR TKIs.
Project description:We have sequenced miRNA libraries from human embryonic, neural and foetal mesenchymal stem cells. We report that the majority of miRNA genes encode mature isomers that vary in size by one or more bases at the 3’ and/or 5’ end of the miRNA. Northern blotting for individual miRNAs showed that the proportions of isomiRs expressed by a single miRNA gene often differ between cell and tissue types. IsomiRs were readily co-immunoprecipitated with Argonaute proteins in vivo and were active in luciferase assays, indicating that they are functional. Bioinformatics analysis predicts substantial differences in targeting between miRNAs with minor 5’ differences and in support of this we report that a 5’ isomiR-9-1 gained the ability to inhibit the expression of DNMT3B and NCAM2 but lost the ability to inhibit CDH1 in vitro. This result was confirmed by the use of isomiR-specific sponges. Our analysis of the miRGator database indicates that a small percentage of human miRNA genes express isomiRs as the dominant transcript in certain cell types and analysis of miRBase shows that 5’ isomiRs have replaced canonical miRNAs many times during evolution. This strongly indicates that isomiRs are of functional importance and have contributed to the evolution of miRNA genes Sequence library of miRNAs from a single sample of human foetal mesenchymal stem cells. Results tested and confirmed by northern blotting. Please note that only raw data files are available for the embryonic and neual samples and thus, directly submitted to SRA (SRX547311, SRX548700, respectively under SRP042115/PRJNA247767)
Project description:The oncogenic MUC1-C protein and the TWIST1 epithelial-mesenchymal transition transcription factor (EMT-TF) are aberrantly expressed in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. However, there is no known association between MUC1-C and TWIST1 in TNBC or other cancer cells. Here, we show that MUC1-C activates STAT3, and that MUC1-C and pSTAT3 drive induction of the TWIST1 gene. In turn, MUC1-C binds directly to TWIST1, and MUC1-C/TWIST1 complexes activate MUC1-C expression in an autoinductive circuit. The functional significance of the MUC1-C/TWIST1 circuit is supported by the demonstration that this pathway is sufficient for driving (i) the EMT-TFs, ZEB1 and SNAIL, (ii) multiple genes in the EMT program as determined by RNA-seq, and (iii) the capacity for cell invasion. We also demonstrate that the MUC1-C/TWIST1 circuit drives (i) expression of the stem cell markers SOX2, BMI1, ALDH1, and CD44, (ii) self-renewal capacity, and (iii) tumorigenicity. In concert with these results, we show that MUC1-C and TWIST1 also drive EMT and stemness in association with acquired paclitaxel (PTX) resistance. Of potential therapeutic importance, targeting MUC1-C and thereby TWIST1 reverses the PTX refractory phenotype as evidenced by synergistic activity with PTX against drug-resistant cells. These findings uncover a master role for MUC1-C in driving the induction of TWIST1, EMT, stemness, and drug resistance, and support MUC1-C as a highly attractive target for inhibiting TNBC plasticity and progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Human T-cell leukemia viruses (HTLV) tend to induce some fatal human diseases like Adult T-cell Leukemia (ATL) by targeting human T lymphocytes. To indentify the protein-protein interactions (PPI) between HTLV viruses and Homo sapiens is one of the significant approaches to reveal the underlying mechanism of HTLV infection and host defence. At present, as biological experiments are labor-intensive and expensive, the identified part of the HTLV-human PPI networks is rather small. Although recent years have witnessed much progress in computational modeling for reconstructing pathogen-host PPI networks, data scarcity and data unavailability are two major challenges to be effectively addressed. To our knowledge, no computational method for proteome-wide HTLV-human PPI networks reconstruction has been reported. RESULTS: In this work we develop Multi-instance Adaboost method to conduct homolog knowledge transfer for computationally reconstructing proteome-wide HTLV-human PPI networks. In this method, the homolog knowledge in the form of gene ontology (GO) is treated as auxiliary homolog instance to address the problems of data scarcity and data unavailability, while the potential negative knowledge transfer is automatically attenuated by AdaBoost instance reweighting. The cross validation experiments show that the homolog knowledge transfer in the form of independent homolog instances can effectively enrich the feature information and substitute for the missing GO information. Moreover, the independent tests show that the method can validate 70.3% of the recently curated interactions, significantly exceeding the 2.1% recognition rate by the HT-Y2H experiment. We have used the method to reconstruct the proteome-wide HTLV-human PPI networks and further conducted gene ontology based clustering of the predicted networks for further biomedical research. The gene ontology based clustering analysis of the predictions provides much biological insight into the pathogenesis of HTLV retroviruses. CONCLUSIONS: The Multi-instance AdaBoost method can effectively address the problems of data scarcity and data unavailability for the proteome-wide HTLV-human PPI interaction networks reconstruction. The gene ontology based clustering analysis of the predictions reveals some important signaling pathways and biological modules that HTLV retroviruses are likely to target.
Project description:BACKGROUND:ETS variant gene 6 (ETV6) is a putative tumor suppressor and repressed by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in prostate cancer. Since EGFR antagonists seem ineffective in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), we aim to study the role of ETV6 in the development of drug resistance. METHODS:Etv6 target gene was validated by ChIP and promoter reporter assays. Correlation of ETV6 and TWIST1 was analyzed in human clinical datasets and tissue samples. Migration, invasion, and metastasis assays were used to measure the cellular responses after perturbation of ETV6 -TWIST1 axis. Proliferation and tumor growth in xenograft model were performed to evaluate the drug sensitivities of EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). RESULTS:ETV6 inhibits TWIST1 expression and disruption of ETV6 promotes TWIST1-dependent malignant phenotypes. Importantly, ETV6 is required to the anti-proliferation effects of EGFR-TKIs, partly due to the inhibitory function of ETV6 on TWIST1. We also found that EGFR-RAS signaling is tightly controlled by ETV6, supporting its role in TKI sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS:Our study demonstrates that disruption of ETV6 contributes to EGFR-TKI resistance, which is likely due to derepression of TWIST1 and activation of EGFR-RAS signaling. Our results implicate ETV6 as a potential marker for predicting efficacy of an EGFR-targeted anticancer approach. Combination treatment of TWIST1 inhibitors could sensitize the anti-proliferation effects of EGFR-TKIs.
Project description:Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a serious threat to human life globally with over 100 genotypes including cancer causing high risk HPVs. Study on protein interaction maps of pathogens with their host is a recent trend in 'omics' era and has been practiced by researchers to find novel drug targets. In current study, we construct an integrated protein interaction map of HPV with its host human in Cytoscape and analyze it further by using various bioinformatics tools. We found out 2988 interactions between 12 HPV and 2061 human proteins among which we identified MYLK, CDK7, CDK1, CDK2, JAK1 and 6 other human proteins associated with multiple viral oncoproteins. The functional enrichment analysis of these top-notch key genes is performed using KEGG pathway and Gene Ontology analysis, which reveals that the gene set is enriched in cell cycle a crucial cellular process, and the second most important pathway in which the gene set is involved is viral carcinogenesis. Among the viral proteins, E7 has the highest number of associations in the network followed by E6, E2 and E5. We found out a group of genes which is not targeted by the existing drugs available for HPV infections. It can be concluded that the molecules found in this study could be potential targets and could be used by scientists in their drug design studies.
Project description:The body of human genomic and proteomic evidence continues to grow at ever-increasing rates, while annotation efforts struggle to keep pace. A surprisingly small fraction of human genes have clear, documented associations with specific functions, and new functions continue to be found for characterized genes. Here we assembled an integrated collection of diverse genomic and proteomic data for 21,341 human genes and make quantitative associations of each to 4333 Gene Ontology terms. We combined guilt-by-profiling and guilt-by-association approaches to exploit features unique to the data types. Performance was evaluated by cross-validation, prospective validation, and by manual evaluation with the biological literature. Functional-linkage networks were also constructed, and their utility was demonstrated by identifying candidate genes related to a glioma FLN using a seed network from genome-wide association studies. Our annotations are presented-alongside existing validated annotations-in a publicly accessible and searchable web interface.
Project description:TWIST1, a transcription factor, plays a pivotal role in cancer initiation and progression. Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is one of the deadliest human malignancies; TWIST1 is overexpressed in ATC and increases thyroid cancer cell survival, migration and invasion. The molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of TWIST1 are partially known. Here, using miRNome profiling of papillary thyroid cancer cells (TPC-1) ectopically expressing TWIST1, we identified miR-584. We showed that TWIST1 directly binds miR-584 using chromatin immunoprecipitation. Importantly, miR-584 was up-regulated in human ATC compared to papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and normal thyroid samples. Overexpression of miR-584 in TPC cells induced resistance to apoptosis, whereas stable transfection of anti-miR-584 in TPC-TWIST1 and 8505C cells increased the sensitivity to apoptosis. Using bioinformatics programs, we identified TUSC2 (tumor suppressor candidate 2) as a novel target of miR-584. TUSC2 mRNA and protein levels were decreased in TPC miR-584 and increased in TPC-TWIST1 anti-miR-584 cells. Luciferase assays demonstrated direct targeting. Restored expression of TUSC2 rescued the inhibition of apoptosis induced by miR-584. Finally, qRT-PCR and immunohistochemical analysis showed that TUSC2 was down-regulated in ATC and PTC samples compared to normal thyroids. In conclusion, our study identified a novel TWIST1/miR-584/TUSC2 pathway that plays a role in resistance to apoptosis of thyroid cancer cells.
Project description:Multidrug resistance is a major problem in colon cancer treatment. However, its molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Recently, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in anticancer drug resistance has attracted increasing attention. This study investigated whether vincristine treatment induces EMT and promotes multidrug resistance in colon cancer. The result showed that vincristine treatment increases the expression of several ATP-binding cassette transporters in invasive human colon adenocarcinoma cell line (HCT-8). Vincristine-resistant HCT-8 cells (HCT-8/V) acquire a mesenchymal phenotype, and thus its migratory and invasive ability are increased both in vitro and in vivo. The master transcriptional factors of EMT, especially Twist1, were significantly increased in the HCT-8/V cell line. Moreover, the ectopic expression of Twist1 increased the chemoresistance of HCT-8 cells to vincristine and increased the expression levels and promoter activities of ABCB1 and ABCC1. Furthermore, Twist1 silencing reverses the EMT phenotype, enhances the chemosensitivity of HCT-8/ V cells to anticancer agents in vitro and in vivo, and downregulates the expression of ABCB1 and ABCC1. Twist1-mediated promotion of ABCB1 and ABCC1 expression levels plays an important role in the drug resistance of colon cancer cells.