Pan-cancer tumor-specific antigens and membrane targets from transposable elements
ABSTRACT: Cryptic promoters within transposable elements (TEs) are transcriptionally reactivated in tumors to create novel TE-gene chimeric transcripts, which can produce immunogenic antigens. We performed the most comprehensive screen to date for these TE exaptation events in 33 TCGA tumor types, 675 cancer cell lines, and 11,686 GTEx adult tissue transcriptomes and identified 1,068 TE-exapted candidates with the potential to generate shared tumor-specific TE-chimeric antigens (TS-TEAs). Resultant whole lysate and HLA-pulldown mass spectrometry data confirmed that TS-TEAs are presented on cancer cell surfaces. In addition, we highlight the tumor-specific membrane proteins transcribed from TE promoters that can expose novel epitopes on the extracellular surface of cancer cells. Here, we showcase the high pan-cancer prevalence of TS-TEAs and atypical membrane proteins that can be therapeutically exploited through immunotherapy approaches.
Project description:Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) can differentiate into cells derived from all three germ layers and extraembryonic tissues. While transcription factors such as, Oct4 and Nanog are well known for their requirements for undifferentiated ES cell growth, mechanisms of epigenetic repression of germ layer specific differentiation in ES cells are not well understood. Here, we investigate functions of Mbd3, a component of nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylation complex (NuRD/Mi-2) in mouse ES cells. We find that compared to wild type ES cells, Mbd3 knockdown cells show elevated RNA expression of trophectoderm markers, including Cdx2, Eomesodermin, and Hand1. In parallel, these cells show an increased acetylation level of histone 3 in promoters of the respective genes, suggesting Mbd3 plays a role in repression of these genes in undifferentiated ES cells. However, these changes are not sufficient for definitive differentiation to trophectoderm (TE) in chimeric embryos. When further cultured in ES medium without LIF or in trophoblast stem (TS) cell medium, Mbd3 knockdown cells differentiate into TE cells, which express Cdx2 and, at later stages, trophoblast lineage specific marker Cadherin 3. These results suggest that Mbd3 helps restrict ES cells from differentiating towards the trophectoderm lineage and is an important epigenetic player in maintaining full pluripotency of mouse ES cells.
Project description:Remnants of ancient transposable elements (TEs) are abundant in mammalian genomes. These sequences harbor multiple regulatory motifs and hence are capable of influencing expression of host genes. In response to environmental changes, TEs are known to be released from epigenetic repression and to become transcriptionally active. Such activation could also lead to lineage-inappropriate activation of oncogenes, as one study described in Hodgkin lymphoma. However, little further evidence for this mechanism in other cancers has been reported. Here, we reanalyzed whole transcriptome data from a large cohort of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) compared with normal B-cell centroblasts to detect genes ectopically expressed through activation of TE promoters. We have identified 98 such TE-gene chimeric transcripts that were exclusively expressed in primary DLBCL cases and confirmed several in DLBCL-derived cell lines. We further characterized a TE-gene chimeric transcript involving a fatty acid-binding protein gene (LTR2-FABP7), normally expressed in brain, that was ectopically expressed in a subset of DLBCL patients through the use of an endogenous retroviral LTR promoter of the LTR2 family. The LTR2-FABP7 chimeric transcript encodes a novel chimeric isoform of the protein with characteristics distinct from native FABP7. In vitro studies reveal a dependency for DLBCL cell line proliferation and growth on LTR2-FABP7 chimeric protein expression. Taken together, these data demonstrate the significance of TEs as regulators of aberrant gene expression in cancer and suggest that LTR2-FABP7 may contribute to the pathogenesis of DLBCL in a subgroup of patients.
Project description:Remnants of ancient transposable elements (TEs) are abundant in mammalian genomes. These sequences contain multiple regulatory motifs and hence are capable of influencing expression of host genes. TEs are known to be released from epigenetic repression and can become transcriptionally active in cancer. Such activation could also lead to lineage-inappropriate activation of oncogenes, as previously described in lymphomas. However, there are few reports of this mechanism occurring in non-blood cancers. Here, we re-analyzed whole transcriptome data from a large cohort of patients with colon cancer, compared to matched normal colon control samples, to detect genes or transcripts ectopically expressed through activation of TE promoters. Among many such transcripts, we identified six where the affected gene has described role in cancer and where the TE-driven gene mRNA is expressed in primary colon cancer, but not normal matched tissue, and confirmed expression in colon cancer-derived cell lines. We further characterized a TE-gene chimeric transcript involving the Interleukin 33 (IL-33) gene (termed LTR-IL-33), that is ectopically expressed in a subset of colon cancer samples through the use of an endogenous retroviral long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter of the MSTD family. The LTR-IL-33 chimeric transcript encodes a novel shorter isoform of the protein, which is missing the initial N-terminus (including many conserved residues) of Native IL-33. In vitro studies showed that LTR-IL-33 expression is required for optimal CRC cell line growth as 3D colonospheres. Taken together, these data demonstrate the significance of TEs as regulators of aberrant gene expression in colon cancer.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>assessing the prognostic role of miR-20a-5p, in terms of clinical outcome, in a large multi-institutional cohort study.<h4>Methods</h4>Tissue microarrays from 535 patients' prostatectomy specimens were constructed. In situ hybridization was performed to assess the expression level of miR-20a-5p in different tissue subregions: tumor stroma (TS) and tumor epithelium (TE). In vitro analysis was performed on prostate cancer cell lines.<h4>Results</h4>A high miR-20a-5p expression was found negatively in association with biochemical failure in TE, TS and TE + TS (<i>p</i> = 0.001, <i>p</i> = 0.003 and <i>p</i> = 0.001, respectively). Multivariable analysis confirmed that high miR-20a-5p expression in TE independently predicts dismal prognosis for biochemical failure (HR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.10-2.21, <i>p</i> = 0.014). Both DU145 and PC3 cells exhibited increased migration ability after transient overexpression of miR-20a-5p, as well as significant elevation of invasion in DU145 cells.<h4>Conclusion</h4>A high miR-20a-5p expression in tumor epithelium is an independent negative predictor for biochemical prostate cancer recurrence.
Project description:Trophoblast stem (TS) cells derived from the trophectoderm (TE) of mammalian embryos have the ability to self-renew indefinitely or differentiate into fetal lineages of the placenta. Epigenetic control of gene expression plays an instrumental role in dictating the fate of TS cell self-renewal and differentiation. However, the roles of histone demethylases and activating histone modifications such as methylation of histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3/me2) in regulating TS cell expression programs, and in priming the epigenetic landscape for trophoblast differentiation, are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the H3K4 demethylase, KDM5B, regulates the H3K4 methylome and expression landscapes of TS cells. Depletion of KDM5B resulted in downregulation of TS cell self-renewal genes and upregulation of trophoblast-lineage genes, which was accompanied by altered H3K4 methylation. Moreover, we found that KDM5B resets the H3K4 methylation landscape during differentiation in the absence of the external self-renewal signal, FGF4, by removing H3K4 methylation from promoters of self-renewal genes, and of genes whose expression is enriched in TS cells. Altogether, our data indicate an epigenetic role for KDM5B in regulating H3K4 methylation in TS cells and during trophoblast differentiation.
Project description:Putative gender differences in bladder cancer (BCa) have been proposed to result from sex hormone influence. Aromatase is the key enzyme catalyzing the conversion of androgens to estrogens which may result in an intratumoral microenviroment with increased estrogen production. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of aromatase and its association with BCa progression. Tissue samples from 88 BCa patients who underwent cystectomy were obtained. Using immunohistochemistry (IHC), expression of aromatase in tumor epithelium (TE) and tumor related stroma (TS) were evaluated separately, and the association of aromatase expression status with pathologic variables and overall survival (OS) outcome was examined. High aromatase expression was found in 33/88 (37.5%) of TE and in 65/88 (73.9%) of TS. Increased aromatase expression in TE had a trend to correlate with male gender. Increased aromatase in TS was significantly associated with adverse pathologic variables including higher pathologic pT, positive lymph node metastasis (pN), lymphovascular invasion (LVI), and distant metastasis. In univariate analysis, high aromatase expression in TS was significantly associated with poorer overall survival (p = 0.014), but this association was not significant (p = 0.163) in multivariate cox analysis adjusted for independent factors including age at surgery and pN. These results demonstrate that aromatase expression in TS but not TE may play a critical role in BCa progression. Our findings provide direct evidence of aromatase involvement in BCa and suggest endocrine therapy may have a potential role in the treatment of BCa.
Project description:We attempted to identify candidate genes that are expressed more highly in the ICM than in TE cells. Mouse ES cells are cultured from the ICM, whereas mouse TS cells are cultured from the TE. Although these cells have been cultured in vitro, they represent the in vitro equivalents of the ICM and TE. Therefore, genes which are expressed more highly in ES than TS in microarray studies were good candidates for genes predominantly expressed in the ICM in blastocysts. We attempted to identify candidate genes that are expressed more highly in the ICM than in TE cells. Mouse ES cells are cultured from the ICM, whereas mouse TS cells are cultured from the TE. Although these cells have been cultured in vitro, they represent the in vitro equivalents of the ICM and TE. Therefore, genes which are expressed more highly in ES than TS in microarray studies were good candidates for genes predominantly expressed in the ICM in blastocysts.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>During early mouse development, two extra-embryonic lineages form alongside the future embryo: the trophectoderm (TE) and the primitive endoderm (PrE). Epigenetic changes known to take place during these early stages include changes in DNA methylation and modified histones, as well as dynamic changes in gene expression.<h4>Results</h4>In order to understand the role and extent of chromatin-based changes for lineage commitment within the embryo, we examined the epigenetic profiles of mouse embryonic stem (ES), trophectoderm stem (TS) and extra-embryonic endoderm (XEN) stem cell lines that were derived from the inner cell mass (ICM), TE and PrE, respectively. As an initial indicator of the chromatin state, we assessed the replication timing of a cohort of genes in each cell type, based on data that expressed genes and acetylated chromatin domains, generally, replicate early in S-phase, whereas some silent genes, hypoacetylated or condensed chromatin tend to replicate later. We found that many lineage-specific genes replicate early in ES, TS and XEN cells, which was consistent with a broadly 'accessible' chromatin that was reported previously for multiple ES cell lines. Close inspection of these profiles revealed differences between ES, TS and XEN cells that were consistent with their differing lineage affiliations and developmental potential. A comparative analysis of modified histones at the promoters of individual genes showed that in TS and ES cells many lineage-specific regulator genes are co-marked with modifications associated with active (H4ac, H3K4me2, H3K9ac) and repressive (H3K27me3) chromatin. However, in XEN cells several of these genes were marked solely by repressive modifications (such as H3K27me3, H4K20me3). Consistent with TS and XEN having a restricted developmental potential, we show that these cells selectively reprogramme somatic cells to induce the de novo expression of genes associated with extraembryonic differentiation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data provide evidence that the diversification of defined embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages is accompanied by chromatin remodelling at specific loci. Stem cell lines from the ICM, TE and PrE can each dominantly reprogramme somatic cells but reset gene expression differently, reflecting their separate lineage identities and increasingly restricted developmental potentials.
Project description:The inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoblast cell lineages duet early embryonic development in mammals. After implantation, the ICM forms the embryo proper as well as some extraembryonic tissues, whereas the trophoectoderm (TE) exclusively forms the fetal portion of the placenta and the trophoblast giant cells. Although embryonic stem (ES) cells can be derived from ICM in cultures of mouse blastocysts in the presence of LIF and/or combinations of small-molecule chemical compounds, and the undifferentiated pluripotent state can be stably maintained without use of serum and feeder cells, defined culture conditions for derivation and maintenance of undifferentiated trophoblast stem (TS) cells have not been established. Here, we report that addition of FGF2, activin A, XAV939, and Y27632 are necessary and sufficient for derivation of TS cells from both of E3.5 blastocysts and E6.5 early postimplantation extraembryonic ectoderm. Moreover, the undifferentiated TS cell state can be stably maintained in chemically defined culture conditions. Cells derived in this manner expressed TS cell marker genes, including Eomes, Elf5, Cdx2, Klf5, Cdh1, Esrrb, Sox2, and Tcfap2c; differentiated into all trophoblast subtypes (trophoblast giant cells, spongiotrophoblast, and labyrinthine trophoblast) in vitro; and exclusively contributed to trophoblast lineages in chimeric animals. This delineation of minimal requirements for derivation and self-renewal provides a defined platform for precise description and dissection of the molecular state of TS cells.
Project description:Androgens are considered important in normal prostate physiology and prostate cancer (PCa) pathogenesis. However, androgen-targeted treatment preventing PCa recurrence is still lacking. This indicates additional mediators contributing to cancer development. We sought to determine the prognostic significance of estrogen receptors, ER? and -?, and the aromatase enzyme in PCa. Tissue microarrays were created from 535?PCa patients treated with radical prostatectomy. Expression of ER?, ER? and aromatase were evaluated using immunohistochemistry. Representative tumor epithelial (TE) and tumor stromal (TS) areas were investigated separately. Survival analyses were used to evaluate the markers correlation to PCa outcome. In univariate analyses, ER? in TS was associated with delayed time to clinical failure (CF) (p?=?0.042) and PCa death (p?=?0.019), while ER? was associated with reduced time to biochemical failure (BF) (p?=?0.002). Aromatase in TS and TE was associated with increased time to BF and CF respectively (p?=?0.016, p?=?0.046). Multivariate analyses supported these observations, indicating an independent prognostic impact of all markers. When stratifying the analysis according to different surgical centers the results were unchanged. In conclusion, significant prognostic roles of ER?, ER? and aromatase were discovered in the in PCa specimens of our large multicenter cohort.