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To facilitate genome-based representation and analysis of proteomics data, we developed a new bioinformatics framework, proBAMsuite, in which a central component is the protein BAM (proBAM) file format for organizing peptide spectrum matches (PSMs)(1) within the context of the genome. proBAMsuite also includes two R packages, proBAMr and proBAMtools, for generating and analyzing proBAM files, respectively. Applying proBAMsuite to three recently published proteomics datasets, we demonstrated its utility in facilitating efficient genome-based sharing, interpretation, and integration of proteomics data. First, the interpretation of proteomics data is significantly enhanced with the rich genomic annotation information. Second, PSMs can be easily reannotated using user-specified gene annotation schemes and assembled into both protein and gene identifications. Third, using the genome as a common reference, proBAMsuite facilitates seamless proteomics and proteogenomics data integration. Finally, proBAM files can be readily visualized in genome browsers and thus bring proteomics data analysis to a general audience beyond the proteomics community. Results from this study establish proBAMsuite as a useful bioinformatics framework for proteomics and proteogenomics research.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Notch signaling is a highly conserved pathway important for normal embryonic development and cancer. We previously demonstrated a role for Notch3 in lung cancer pathogenesis. Notch3 inhibition resulted in tumor apoptosis and growth suppression. In vitro, these effects were enhanced when the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway was also inhibited, suggesting significant cross-talk between the two pathways. How Notch3 and epidermal growth factor receptor-mitogen-activated protein kinase (EGFR-MAPK) pathways cooperate in modulating apoptosis is not yet known. In this study, we provide evidence that Notch3 regulates Bim, a BH-3-only protein, via MAPK signaling. Furthermore, loss of Bim expression prevents tumor apoptosis induced by Notch3 inhibition. Using gamma-secretase inhibitor and erlotinib in a xenograft model, Bim induction and tumor inhibition were observed to be enhanced compared with either agent alone, consistent with our previous observation of significant synergism between Notch and EGFR-ras-MAPK signaling. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that Notch3 not only has a crucial role in lung cancer through regulating apoptosis, but also cooperates with the EGFR-MAPK pathway in modulating Bim.
Bax is a pro-apoptotic protein that mediates intrinsic cell-death signaling. Using a yeast-based functional screening approach, we identified interferon gamma receptor beta chain (IFNgammaR2) as a new Bax suppressor. IFNgammaR2 is a component of the IFNgamma receptor complex along with the IFNgammaR alpha chain (IFNgammaR1). Upon IFNgamma binding, a conformational change in the receptor complex occurs that activates the Jak2/STAT1 signaling cascade. We found that the C-terminal region (amino acids 296-337) of IFNgammaR2 (IFNgammaR2(296-337)) contains a novel Bax inhibitory domain. This portion does not contain the Jak2-binding domain; therefore, the antiapoptotic function of IFNgammaR2 is independent of JAK/STAT signaling. IFNgammaR2(296-337) rescued human cells from apoptosis induced by overexpression of Bax but not Bak. Overexpression of IFNgammaR2 (wild type and IFNgammaR2(296-337)) rescued cells from etoposide and staurosporine, which are known to induce Bax-mediated cell death. Interestingly, IFNgammaR2 inhibited apoptosis induced by the BH3-only protein Bim-EL, suggesting that IFNgammaR2 inhibits Bax activation through a BH3-only protein. Bax and IFNgammaR2 were co-immunoprecipitated from cell lysates prepared from HEK293 and DAMI cells. Furthermore, direct binding of purified recombinant proteins of Bax and IFNgammaR2 was also confirmed. Addition of recombinant Bcl-2 protein to cell lysates significantly reduced the interaction of IFNgammaR2 and Bax, suggesting that Bcl-2 and IFNgammaR2 bind a similar domain of Bax. We found that the C-terminal fragment (cytoplasmic domain) of IFNgammaR2 is expressed in human cancer cell lines of megakaryocytic cancer (DAMI), breast cancer (MDA-MD-468), and prostate cancer (PC3 cells). The presence of the C-terminal fragment of IFNgammaR2 may confer on cancer cells resistance to apoptotic stresses. Our discovery of the anti-Bax activity of the cytoplasmic domain of IFNgammaR2 may shed new light on the mechanism of how cell death is controlled by IFNgamma and Bax.
Adenocarcinomas of the lung commonly show an increase in the activity of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway, yet many are resistant to apoptosis induced by the inhibition of PI3K. We hypothesized that Bcl-xL would have a synergistic effect on the apoptotic response induced by inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway in lung adenocarcinoma. To test this, we examined the effect of the PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) on lung adenocarcinoma cell lines expressing varying levels of Bcl-xL. We found that cells that overexpress Bcl-xL are resistant to LY294002-induced apoptosis, whereas cells that express little Bcl-xL readily are not. Restoring Bcl-xL expression in cells that express low level of Bcl-xL conferred resistance to apoptosis in response to LY294002. The simultaneous inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway by LY294002 or Akt1 small interfering RNA and Bcl-xL function by ABT-737 or Bcl-xL small interfering RNA greatly enhanced the apoptotic response. Moreover, this response was associated with the induction of proapoptotic BH3-only Bcl-2 family member Bim. Our data suggest that PI3K/Akt and Bcl-xL pathways control cell death in lung adenocarcinoma cells in a synergistic manner. Modulation of Bcl-xL expression may represent one important strategy to optimize the efficacy of therapeutic agents targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway in adenocarcinoma of the lung.
During hematopoiesis, myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1) mediates the survival of bone marrow progenitors and lymphocytes. However, its requirement during myeloid cell differentiation, development, and effector function is less clear. Lineage-specific deletion of MCL-1 in myeloid precursors results in neutropenia due to death during differentiation. The loss of mature neutrophils induced by Mcl-1 deletion was not rescued by genetic deletion of proapoptotic Bim and Puma or by exogenous cytokine treatment. However, blockade of intrinsic apoptosis by lineage-specific deletion of both multidomain proapoptotics Bax and Bak was capable of rescuing the neutropenia associated with Mcl-1 deletion. In the monocytic lineage, despite efficient Mcl-1 deletion, monocytes and macrophages undergo normal development. During the phagocytosis of extracellular bacteria, macrophages concomitantly increase the expression of both MCL-1 and BIM. However, Mcl-1-deficient macrophages exhibit increased sensitivity to death during bacterial phagocytosis that can be abolished by codeletion of Bim. These data suggest that MCL-1 may be necessary to antagonize BIM during macrophage effector responses. Thus, MCL-1 plays selective roles in myeloid development, being required for neutrophil development and setting the threshold for apoptosis during a macrophage effector response.
ABT-737 is a novel and potent Bcl-2 antagonist with single-agent activity against small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines. Here, we evaluated the contribution of Bcl-2 family members to the in vitro cellular response of several SCLC cell lines to ABT-737. Relatively higher levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), Bim and Noxa, and lower levels of Mcl-1 characterized naïve SCLC cell lines that were sensitive to ABT-737. Conversely, a progressive decrease in the relative levels of Bcl-2 and Noxa and a progressive increase in Mcl-1 levels characterized the increased resistance of H146 cells following chronic exposure to ABT-737. Knockdown of Mcl-1 with small interfering RNA sensitized two resistant SCLC cell lines H196 and DMS114 to ABT-737 by enhancing the induction of apoptosis. Likewise, up-regulation of Noxa sensitized H196 cells to ABT-737. Combination treatment with DNA-damaging agents was extremely synergistic with ABT-737 and was associated with the down-regulation of Mcl-1 and the up-regulation of Noxa, Puma, and Bim in H196 cells. Thus, SCLC cells sensitive to ABT-737 expressed the target proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L), whereas Mcl-1 and factors regulating Mcl-1 function seem to contribute to the overall resistance of SCLC cells to ABT-737. Overall, these observations provide further insight as to the mechanistic bases for ABT-737 efficacy in SCLC and will be helpful for profiling patients and aiding in the rational design of combination therapies.
The c-Myc oncoprotein promotes proliferation and apoptosis, such that mutations that disable apoptotic programmes often cooperate with MYC during tumorigenesis. Here we report that two common mutant MYC alleles derived from human Burkitt's lymphoma uncouple proliferation from apoptosis and, as a result, are more effective than wild-type MYC at promoting B cell lymphomagenesis in mice. Mutant MYC proteins retain their ability to stimulate proliferation and activate p53, but are defective at promoting apoptosis due to a failure to induce the BH3-only protein Bim (a member of the B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) family) and effectively inhibit Bcl2. Disruption of apoptosis through enforced expression of Bcl2, or loss of either Bim or p53 function, enables wild-type MYC to produce lymphomas as efficiently as mutant MYC. These data show how parallel apoptotic pathways act together to suppress MYC-induced transformation, and how mutant MYC proteins, by selectively disabling a p53-independent pathway, enable tumour cells to evade p53 action during lymphomagenesis.