Lysyl-tRNA synthetase (KRS) functions canonically in cytosolic translational processes. However, KRS is highly expressed in colon cancer, and localizes to distinct cellular compartments upon phosphorylations (i.e., the plasma membranes after T52-phosphorylation and the nucleus after S207-phosphorylation), leading to probably alternative non-canonical functions. It is unknown how other subcellular KRSs crosstalk with environmental cues during cancer progression. Here, we demonstrate that the KRS-dependent metastatic behavior of colon cancer spheroids within three-dimensional gels requires communication between cellular molecules and extracellular soluble factors and neighboring cells. Membranous and nuclear KRS were found to participate in invasive cell dissemination of colon cancer spheroids in three dimensional gels. Cancer spheroids secreted GAS6 via a KRS-dependent mechanism and caused the M2 polarization of macrophages, which activated the neighboring cells via secretion of FGF2/GROα/M-CSF to promote cancer dissemination under environmental remodeling via fibroblast-mediated laminins production. Analyses of tissues from clinical colon cancer patients and Krs–/+ animal models for cancer metastasis supported the roles of KRS, GAS6, and M2 macrophages in KRS-dependent positive feedback between tumors and environmental factors. Altogether, KRS in colon cancer cells remodels the microenvironment to promote metastasis, which can thus be therapeutically targeted at these bidirectional KRS-dependent communications of cancer spheroids with environmental cues.
Seo Hee Nam, Doyeun Kim, Doohyung Lee, Hye-Mi Lee, Dae-Geun Song, Jae Woo Jung, Ji Eon Kim, Hye-Jin Kim, Nam Hoon Kwon, Eun-Kyeong Jo, Sunghoon Kim, Jung Weon Lee
Central to the recognition, signaling, and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex and mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1 (MDC1), the interplay of which is essential for initiation and amplification of the DNA damage response (DDR). The intrinsic rule governing the regulation of the function of this molecular machinery remains to be investigated. We report here that the ubiquitin-specific protease USP7 was physically associated with the MRN-MDC1 complex and that the MRN-MDC1 complex acted as a platform for USP7 to efficiently deubiquitinate and stabilize MDC1, thereby sustaining the DDR. Accordingly, depletion of USP7 impaired the engagement of the MRN-MDC1 complex and the consequent recruitment of the downstream factors p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) and breast cancer protein 1 (BRCA1) at DNA lesions. Significantly, USP7 was overexpressed in cervical cancer, and the level of its expression positively correlated with that of MDC1 and worse survival rates for patients with cervical cancer. We demonstrate that USP7-mediated MDC1 stabilization promoted cervical cancer cell survival and conferred cellular resistance to genotoxic insults. Together, our study reveals a role for USP7 in regulating the function of the MRN-MDC1 complex and activity of the DDR, supporting the pursuit of USP7 as a potential therapeutic target for MDC1-proficient cancers.
Dongxue Su, Shuai Ma, Lin Shan, Yue Wang, Yuejiao Wang, Cheng Cao, Beibei Liu, Chao Yang, Liyong Wang, Shanshan Tian, Xiang Ding, Xinhua Liu, Na Yu, Nan Song, Ling Liu, Shangda Yang, Qi Zhang, Fuquan Yang, Kai Zhang, Lei Shi
BACKGROUND. Understanding the integrated immunogenomic landscape of advanced prostate cancer (APC) could impact stratified treatment selection. METHODS. Defective mismatch repair (dMMR) status was determined by either loss of mismatch repair protein expression on IHC or microsatellite instability (MSI) by PCR in 127 APC biopsies from 124 patients (Royal Marsden [RMH] cohort); MSI by targeted panel next-generation sequencing (MSINGS) was then evaluated in the same cohort and in 254 APC samples from the Stand Up To Cancer/Prostate Cancer Foundation (SU2C/PCF). Whole exome sequencing (WES) data from this latter cohort were analyzed for pathogenic MMR gene variants, mutational load, and mutational signatures. Transcriptomic data, available for 168 samples, was also performed. RESULTS. Overall, 8.1% of patients in the RMH cohort had some evidence of dMMR, which associated with decreased overall survival. Higher MSINGS scores associated with dMMR, and these APCs were enriched for higher T cell infiltration and PD-L1 protein expression. Exome MSINGS scores strongly correlated with targeted panel MSINGS scores (r = 0.73, P < 0.0001), and higher MSINGS scores associated with dMMR mutational signatures in APC exomes. dMMR mutational signatures also associated with MMR gene mutations and increased immune cell, immune checkpoint, and T cell–associated transcripts. APC with dMMR mutational signatures overexpressed a variety of immune transcripts, including CD200R1, BTLA, PD-L1, PD-L2, ADORA2A, PIK3CG, and TIGIT. CONCLUSION. These data could impact immune target selection, combination therapeutic strategy selection, and selection of predictive biomarkers for immunotherapy in APC. FUNDING. We acknowledge funding support from Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, SU2C, and Cancer Research UK.
Daniel Nava Rodrigues, Pasquale Rescigno, David Liu, Wei Yuan, Suzanne Carreira, Maryou B. Lambros, George Seed, Joaquin Mateo, Ruth Riisnaes, Stephanie Mullane, Claire Margolis, Diana Miao, Susana Miranda, David Dolling, Matthew Clarke, Claudia Bertan, Mateus Crespo, Gunther Boysen, Ana Ferreira, Adam Sharp, Ines Figueiredo, Daniel Keliher, Saud Aldubayan, Kelly P. Burke, Semini Sumanasuriya, Mariane Sousa Fontes, Diletta Bianchini, Zafeiris Zafeiriou, Larissa Sena Teixeira Mendes, Kent Mouw, Michael T. Schweizer, Colin C. Pritchard, Stephen Salipante, Mary-Ellen Taplin, Himisha Beltran, Mark A. Rubin, Marcin Cieslik, Dan Robinson, Elizabeth Heath, Nikolaus Schultz, Joshua Armenia, Wassim Abida, Howard Scher, Christopher Lord, Alan D’Andrea, Charles L. Sawyers, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Andrea Alimonti, Peter S. Nelson, Charles G. Drake, Eliezer M. Van Allen, Johann S. de Bono
The host immune system plays a pivotal role in the emergence of tumor cells that are refractory to multiple clinical interventions including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Here, we examined the molecular mechanisms by which the immune system triggers cross-resistance to these interventions. By examining the biological changes in murine and tumor cells subjected to sequential rounds of in vitro or in vivo immune selection via cognate cytotoxic T lymphocytes, we found that multimodality resistance arises through a core metabolic reprogramming pathway instigated by epigenetic loss of the ATP synthase subunit ATP5H, which leads to ROS accumulation and HIF-1α stabilization under normoxia. Furthermore, this pathway confers to tumor cells a stem-like and invasive phenotype. In vivo delivery of antioxidants reverses these phenotypic changes and resensitizes tumor cells to therapy. ATP5H loss in the tumor is strongly linked to failure of therapy, disease progression, and poor survival in patients with cancer. Collectively, our results reveal a mechanism underlying immune-driven multimodality resistance to cancer therapy and demonstrate that rational targeting of mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells may overcome this resistance. We believe these results hold important implications for the clinical management of cancer.
Kwon-Ho Song, Jae-Hoon Kim, Young-Ho Lee, Hyun Cheol Bae, Hyo-Jung Lee, Seon Rang Woo, Se Jin Oh, Kyung-Mi Lee, Cassian Yee, Bo Wook Kim, Hanbyoul Cho, Eun Joo Chung, Joon-Yong Chung, Stephen M. Hewitt, Tae-Wook Chung, Ki-Tae Ha, Young-Ki Bae, Chih-Ping Mao, Andrew Yang, T.C. Wu, Tae Woo Kim
Tumor relapse is the leading cause of death in breast cancer, largely due to the fact that recurrent tumors are frequently resistant to chemotherapy. We previously reported that downregulation of the proapoptotic protein Par-4 promotes tumor recurrence in genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer recurrence. In the present study, we examined the mechanism and functional significance of Par-4 downregulation in recurrent tumors. We found that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) promotes epigenetic silencing of Par-4 in recurrent tumors. Par-4 silencing proceeded through binding of the EMT transcription factor Twist to the Par-4 promoter, where Twist induced a unique bivalent chromatin domain. This bivalent configuration conferred plasticity at the Par-4 promoter, and Par-4 silencing could be reversed with pharmacologic inhibitors of Ezh2 and HDAC1/2. Using an epigenome editing approach to reexpress Par-4 by specifically reversing the histone modifications found in recurrent tumors, we found that Par-4 reexpression sensitized recurrent tumors to chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo. Upon reexpression, Par-4 bound to the protein phosphatase PP1, caused widespread changes in phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins, and cooperated with microtubule-targeting drugs to induce mitotic defects. These results identify Twist-induced epigenetic silencing of Par-4 as a targetable axis that promotes chemoresistance in recurrent breast cancer.
Nathaniel W. Mabe, Douglas B. Fox, Ryan Lupo, Amy E. Decker, Stephanie N. Phelps, J. Will Thompson, James V. Alvarez
Human endogenous retroviruses (hERVs) are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the genome throughout evolution. We developed a computational workflow, hervQuant, which identified over 3,000 transcriptionally active hERVs within The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pan-cancer RNA-seq database. hERV expression was associated with clinical prognosis in several tumor types, most significantly clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We explored two mechanisms by which hERV expression may influence the tumor-immune microenvironment in ccRCC: through 1) RIG-I-like signaling, and 2) retroviral antigen activation of adaptive immunity. We demonstrated the ability of hERV signatures associated with these immune mechanisms to predict patient survival in ccRCC, independent of clinical staging and molecular subtyping. We identified potential tumor-specific hERV epitopes with evidence of translational activity through the use of a ccRCC Ribo-seq dataset, validated their ability to bind HLA in vitro, and identified presence of MHC tetramer-positive T cells against predicted epitopes. hERV sequences identified through this screening approach were significantly more highly expressed in ccRCC tumors responsive to treatment with programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibition. hervQuant provides new insights into the role of hERVs within the tumor-immune microenvironment as well as evidence for hERV expression-based biomarkers for patient prognosis and response to immunotherapy.
Christof C. Smith, Kathryn E. Beckermann, Dante S. Bortone, Aguirre A. de Cubas, Lisa M. Bixby, Samuel J. Lee, Anshuman Panda, Shridar Ganesan, Gyan Bhanot, Eric M. Wallen, Matthew I. Milowsky, William Y. Kim, W. Kimryn Rathmell, Ronald Swanstrom, Joel S. Parker, Jonathan S. Serody, Sara R. Selitsky, Benjamin G. Vincent
Mutant KRAS drives glycolytic flux in lung cancer, potentially impacting aberrant protein glycosylation. Recent evidence suggests aberrant KRAS drives flux of glucose into the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). HBP is required for various glycosylation processes, such as protein N- or O-glycosylation and glycolipid synthesis. However, its function during tumorigenesis is poorly understood. One contributor and proposed target of KRAS driven cancers is a developmentally conserved epithelial plasticity program called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here we show in novel autochthonous mouse models that EMT accelerates KrasG12D lung tumorigenesis by upregulating expression of key enzymes of the HBP pathway. We demonstrate that HBP is required for suppressing KrasG12D-induced senescence, and targeting HBP significantly delays KrasG12D lung tumorigenesis. To explore the mechanism, we investigated protein glycosylation downstream of HBP and found elevated levels of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAcylation) post-translational modification on intracellular proteins. O-GlcNAcylation suppressed KrasG12D oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) and accelerates lung tumorigenesis. Conversely, loss of O-GlcNAcylation delays lung tumorigenesis. O-GlcNAcylation of proteins SNAI1 and c-Myc correlates with the EMT-HBP axis and accelerated lung tumorigenesis. Our results demonstrate that O-GlcNAcylation is sufficient and required to accelerate KrasG12D lung tumorigenesis in vivo, which is reinforced by epithelial plasticity programs.
Kekoa Taparra, Hailun Wang, Reem Malek, Audrey Lafargue, Mustafa A. Barbhuiya, Xing Wang, Brian W. Simons, Matthew Ballew, Katriana Nugent, Jennifer Groves, Russell D. Williams, Takumi Shiraishi, James Verdone, Gokben Yildirir, Roger Henry, Bin Zhang, John Wong, Ken Kang-Hsin Wang, Barry D. Nelkin, Kenneth J. Pienta, Dean Felsher, Natasha E. Zachara, Phuoc T. Tran
First generation immune checkpoint inhibitors including anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies have led to major clinical progress, yet resistance frequently leads to treatment failure. Thus, new targets acting on T cells are needed. CD33-related Siglecs are pattern recognition immune receptors binding to a range of sialoglycan ligands, which appear to function as self-associated molecular patterns (SAMPs) that suppress autoimmune responses. Siglecs are expressed at very low levels on normal T cells, and these receptors were not yet considered as interesting targets on T cells for cancer immunotherapy. Here, we show an upregulation of Siglecs including Siglec-9 on tumor-infiltrating T cells from non-small cell lung (NSCLC), colorectal and ovarian cancer patients. Siglec-9 expressing T cells co-expressed several inhibitory receptors including PD-1. Targeting of the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway in vitro and in vivo resulted in increased anti-cancer immunity. T cell expression of Siglec-9 in NSCLC patients correlated with a reduced survival, and Siglec-9 polymorphisms showed associations with the risk of developing lung and colorectal cancer. Our data identify the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway as new potential target to improve T cell activation for immunotherapy.
Michal A. Stanczak, Shoib S. Siddiqui, Marcel P. Trefny, Daniela S. Thommen, Kayluz Frias Boligan, Stephan von Gunten, Alexandar Tzankov, Lothar Tietze, Didier Lardinois, Viola Heinzelmann-Schwarz, Michael S. von Bergwelt-Baildon, Wu Zhang, Heinz-Josef Lenz, Younghan Han, Christopher I. Amos, Mohammedyaseen Syedbasha, Adrian Egli, Frank Stenner, Daniel E. Speiser, Ajit Varki, Alfred Zippelius, Heinz Läubli
Mutations underlie all cancers, and their identification and study are the foundation of cancer biology. We describe what we believe to be a novel approach to mutagenesis and cancer studies based on the DNA polymerase ε (POLE) ultramutator phenotype recently described in human cancers, in which a single amino acid substitution (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain results in error-prone DNA replication. We engineered a conditional PoleP286R allele in mice. PoleP286R/+ embryonic fibroblasts exhibited a striking mutator phenotype and immortalized more efficiently. PoleP286R/+ mice were born at Mendelian ratios but rapidly developed lethal cancers of diverse lineages, yielding the most cancer-prone monoallelic model described to date, to our knowledge. Comprehensive whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that the cancers were driven by high base substitution rates in the range of human cancers, overcoming a major limitation of previous murine cancer models. These data establish polymerase-mediated ultramutagenesis as an efficient in vivo approach for the generation of diverse animal cancer models that recapitulate the high mutational loads inherent to human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Ileana Cuevas, Musi Zhang, Changzheng Lu, Md Maksudul Alam, Yang-Xin Fu, M. James You, Esra A. Akbay, He Zhang, Diego H. Castrillon
Early T cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) is a new pathological entity with poor outcomes in T cell ALL (T-ALL) that is characterized by a high incidence of loss-of-function mutations in polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) genes. We generated a mouse model of ETP-ALL by deleting Ezh2, one of the PRC2 genes, in p53-null hematopoietic cells. The loss of Ezh2 in p53-null hematopoietic cells impeded the differentiation of ETPs and eventually induced ETP-ALL–like disease in mice, indicating that PRC2 functions as a bona fide tumor suppressor in ETPs. A large portion of PRC2 target genes acquired DNA hypermethylation of their promoters following reductions in H3K27me3 levels upon the loss of Ezh2, which included pivotal T cell differentiation–regulating genes. The reactivation of a set of regulators by a DNA-demethylating agent, but not the transduction of single regulator genes, effectively induced the differentiation of ETP-ALL cells. Thus, PRC2 protects key T cell developmental regulators from DNA hypermethylation in order to keep them primed for activation upon subsequent differentiation phases, while its insufficiency predisposes ETPs to leukemic transformation. These results revealed a previously unrecognized epigenetic switch in response to PRC2 dysfunction and provide the basis for specific rational epigenetic therapy for ETP-ALL with PRC2 insufficiency.
Changshan Wang, Motohiko Oshima, Daisuke Sato, Hirotaka Matsui, Sho Kubota, Kazumasa Aoyama, Yaeko Nakajima-Takagi, Shuhei Koide, Jun Matsubayashi, Makiko Mochizuki-Kashio, Takako Nakano-Yokomizo, Jie Bai, Toshitaka Nagao, Akinori Kanai, Atsushi Iwama, Goro Sashida