Project description:Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is known to rely heavily on interactions with its niche but little is understood regarding how the various cell types interact. In order to determine specifically how the Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the BCC niche impact tumor development we have undertaken cell type specific RNA sequencing and have identified signalling mechanisms within and between compartments that mediate BCC development. Using very early stage BCC we have determined that CAF changes occur early, and we have shown that CAFs evolve over time during the tumors development. Adhesion and metabolic alterations early in tumor development progress to immune system regulators becoming more pronounced later in the process. Specifically, we have identified that Endothelin ligand from keratinoctyes promotes Endothelin signalling in fibroblasts, and that this signalling is crucial for BCC growth. Using cell type specific analyses we have dissected the intercompartmental signalling necessary for BCC development, and identified candidate signalling networks essential for tumor growth. This work not only provides meaningful candidates but also validates that changes in CAFs are essential facilitators of BCC development, from early in tumor development. Overall design: RNA sequencing of matched CD26+ve fibroblasts and EPCAM+ve keratinocyte samples from murine inducible Basal Cell Carcinoma
Project description:Phosphosignalling pathways are an attractive option for the synthetic biologist looking for a wide repertoire of modular components from which to build. We demonstrate that two-component systems can be used in synthetic biology. However, their potential is limited by the fact that host cells contain many of their own phosphosignalling pathways and these may interact with, and cross-talk to, the introduced synthetic components. In this paper we also demonstrate a simple bioinformatic tool that can help predict whether interspecies cross-talk between introduced and native two-component signalling pathways will occur and show both in vitro and in vivo that the predicted interactions do take place. The ability to predict potential cross-talk prior to designing and constructing novel pathways or choosing a host organism is essential for the promise that phosphosignalling components hold for synthetic biology to be realised.
Project description:Time resolved phosphorylation changes were measured the melanoma cell lines A2058 and UACC257. An endothelin B receptor knockout of UACC257 was processed in parallel. Protein abundance was also compared at the latest time point of the study (90 min) using DIA-SWATH
Project description:Experience and changes in neuronal activity can alter CNS myelination, but the signalling pathways responsible remain poorly understood. Here we define a pathway in which endothelin, signalling through the G protein-coupled receptor endothelin receptor B and PKC epsilon, regulates the number of myelin sheaths formed by individual oligodendrocytes in mouse and zebrafish. We show that this phenotype is also observed in the prefrontal cortex of mice following social isolation, and is associated with reduced expression of vascular endothelin. Additionally, we show that increasing endothelin signalling rescues this myelination defect caused by social isolation. Together, these results indicate that the vasculature responds to changes in neuronal activity associated with experience by regulating endothelin levels, which in turn affect the myelinating capacity of oligodendrocytes. This pathway may be employed to couple the metabolic support function of myelin to activity-dependent demand and also represents a novel mechanism for adaptive myelination.
Project description:Colour patterns of adult fish are composed of several different types of pigment cells distributing in the skin during juvenile development. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, displays a striking pattern of dark stripes of melanophores interspersed with light stripes of xanthophores. A third cell type, silvery iridophores, contributes to both stripes and plays a crucial role in adult pigment pattern formation. Several mutants deficient in iridophore development display similar adult phenotypes with reduced numbers of melanophores and defects in stripe formation. This indicates a supporting role of iridophores for melanophore development and maintenance. One of these mutants, rose (rse), encodes the Endothelin receptor b1a. Here we describe a new mutant in zebrafish, karneol (kar), which has a phenotype similar to weak alleles of rse with a reduction in iridophore numbers and defects of adult pigment patterning. We show that, unlike rse, kar is not required in iridophores. The gene defective in the kar mutant codes for an endothelin-converting enzyme, Ece2, which activates endothelin ligands by proteolytic cleavage. By morpholino-mediated knockdown, we identify Endothelin 3b (Edn3b) as the ligand for endothelin receptor signalling in larval iridophores. Thus, Endothelin signalling is involved in iridophore development, proliferation and stripe morphogenesis in larvae as well as adult zebrafish. In mammals the pathway is required for melanocyte development; therefore, our results indicate a previously unrecognized close evolutionary relationship between iridophores in zebrafish and melanocytes in mammals.
Project description:Approaches to prolong responses to BRAF targeting drugs in melanoma patients are challenged by phenotype heterogeneity. Melanomas of a "MITF-high" phenotype usually respond well to BRAF inhibitor therapy, but these melanomas also contain subpopulations of the <i>de novo</i> resistance "AXL-high" phenotype. > 50% of melanomas progress with enriched "AXL-high" populations, and because AXL is linked to de-differentiation and invasiveness avoiding an "AXL-high relapse" is desirable. We discovered that phenotype heterogeneity is supported during the response phase of BRAF inhibitor therapy due to MITF-induced expression of endothelin 1 (EDN1). EDN1 expression is enhanced in tumours of patients on treatment and confers drug resistance through ERK re-activation in a paracrine manner. Most importantly, EDN1 not only supports MITF-high populations through the endothelin receptor B (EDNRB), but also AXL-high populations through EDNRA, making it a master regulator of phenotype heterogeneity. Endothelin receptor antagonists suppress AXL-high-expressing cells and sensitize to BRAF inhibition, suggesting that targeting EDN1 signalling could improve BRAF inhibitor responses without selecting for AXL-high cells.
Project description:CD160 is highly expressed by NK cells and is associated with cytolytic effector activity. Herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) activates NK cells for cytokine production and cytolytic function via CD160. Fc-fusions are a well-established class of therapeutics, where the Fc domain provides additional biological and pharmacological properties to the fusion protein including enhanced serum t 1/2 and interaction with Fc receptor-expressing immune cells. We evaluated the specific function of HVEM in regulating CD160-mediated NK cell effector function by generating a fusion of the HVEM extracellular domain with human IgG1 Fc bearing CD16-binding mutations (Fc*) resulting in HVEM-(Fc*). HVEM-(Fc*) displayed reduced binding to the Fc receptor CD16 (i.e., Fc-disabled HVEM), which limited Fc receptor-induced responses. HVEM-(Fc*) functional activity was compared with HVEM-Fc containing the wild type human IgG1 Fc. HVEM-(Fc*) treatment of NK cells and PBMCs caused greater IFN-? production, enhanced cytotoxicity, reduced NK fratricide, and no change in CD16 expression on human NK cells compared with HVEM-Fc. HVEM-(Fc*) treatment of monocytes or PBMCs enhanced the expression level of CD80, CD83, and CD40 expression on monocytes. HVEM-(Fc*)-enhanced NK cell activation and cytotoxicity were promoted via cross-talk between NK cells and monocytes that was driven by cell-cell contact. In this study, we have shown that soluble Fc-disabled HVEM-(Fc*) augments NK cell activation, IFN-? production, and cytotoxicity of NK cells without inducing NK cell fratricide by promoting cross-talk between NK cells and monocytes without Fc receptor-induced effects. Soluble Fc-disabled HVEM-(Fc*) may be considered as a research and potentially therapeutic reagent for modulating immune responses via sole activation of HVEM receptors.
Project description:Recent work demonstrates that Alport glomerular disease is mediated through a biomechanical strain-sensitive activation of mesangial actin dynamics. This occurs through a Rac1/CDC42 cross-talk mechanism that results in the invasion of the subcapillary spaces by mesangial filopodia. The filopodia deposit mesangial matrix proteins in the glomerular basement membrane, including laminin 211, which activates focal adhesion kinase in podocytes culminating in the up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and metalloproteinases. These events drive the progression of glomerulonephritis. Here we test whether endothelial cell-derived endothelin-1 is up-regulated in Alport glomeruli and further elevated by hypertension. Treatment of cultured mesangial cells with endothelin-1 activates the formation of drebrin-positive actin microspikes. These microspikes do not form when cells are treated with the endothelin A receptor antagonist sitaxentan or under conditions of small, interfering RNA knockdown of endothelin A receptor mRNA. Treatment of Alport mice with sitaxentan results in delayed onset of proteinuria, normalized glomerular basement membrane morphology, inhibition of mesangial filopodial invasion of the glomerular capillaries, normalization of glomerular expression of metalloproteinases and proinflammatory cytokines, increased life span, and prevention of glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis. Thus endothelin A receptor activation on mesangial cells is a key event in initiation of Alport glomerular disease in this model.
Project description:The role of protein phosphorylation for adjusting chloroplast functions to changing environmental needs is well established, whereas calcium signalling in the chloroplast is only recently becoming appreciated. The work presented here explores the potential cross-talk between calcium signalling and protein phosphorylation in chloroplasts and provides the first evidence for targets of calcium-dependent protein phosphorylation at the thylakoid membrane. Thylakoid proteins were screened for calcium-dependent phosphorylation by 2D gel electrophoresis combined with phospho-specific labelling and PsaN, CAS, and VAR1, among other proteins, were identified repeatedly by mass spectrometry. Subsequently their calcium-dependent phosphorylation was confirmed in kinase assays using the purified proteins and chloroplast extracts. This is the first report on the protein targets of calcium-dependent phosphorylation of thylakoid proteins and provides ground for further studies in this direction.
Project description:In the present study, we have characterized signalling cross-talk between STAT5b (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b) and HNF4alpha (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha), two major regulators of sex-dependent gene expression in the liver. In a HepG2 liver cell model, HNF4alpha strongly inhibited beta-casein and ntcp (Na+/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide) promoter activity stimulated by GH (growth hormone)-activated STAT5b, but had no effect on interferon-gamma-stimulated STAT1 transcriptional activity. By contrast, STAT5b synergistically enhanced the transcriptional activity of HNF4alpha towards the ApoCIII (apolipoprotein CIII) promoter. The inhibitory effect of HNF4alpha on STAT5b transcription was associated with the inhibition of GH-stimulated STAT5b tyrosine phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. The short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, reversed STAT5b transcriptional inhibition by HNF4alpha, but did not reverse the inhibition of STAT5b tyrosine phosphorylation. HNF4alpha inhibition of STAT5b tyrosine phosphorylation was not reversed by pervanadate or by dominant-negative phosphotyrosine phosphatase 1B, suggesting that it does not result from an increase in STAT5b dephosphorylation. Rather, HNF4alpha blocked GH-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2 (Janus kinase 2), a STAT5b tyrosine kinase. Thus STAT5b and HNF4alpha exhibit bi-directional cross-talk that may augment HNF4alpha-dependent gene transcription while inhibiting STAT5b transcriptional activity via the inhibitory effects of HNF4alpha on JAK2 phosphorylation, which leads to inhibition of STAT5b signalling initiated by the GH receptor at the cell surface.