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Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification.
Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Alterations in the expression or function of histone deacetylases (HDAC) contribute to the development and progression of hematologic malignancies. Consequently, the development and implementation of HDAC inhibitors has proven to be therapeutically beneficial, particularly for hematologic malignancies. However, the molecular mechanisms by which HDAC inhibition (HDACi) induces tumor cell death remain unresolved. Here, we investigated the effects of HDACi in Myc-driven B-cell lymphoma and five other hematopoietic malignancies. We determined that Myc-mediated transcriptional repression of the miR-15 and let-7 families in malignant cells was relieved upon HDACi, and Myc was required for their upregulation. The miR-15 and let-7 families then targeted and downregulated the antiapoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, respectively, to induce HDACi-mediated apoptosis. Notably, Myc also transcriptionally upregulated these miRNA in untransformed cells, indicating that this Myc-induced miRNA-mediated apoptotic pathway is suppressed in malignant cells, but becomes reactivated upon HDACi. Taken together, our results reveal a previously unknown mechanism by which Myc induces apoptosis independent of the p53 pathway and as a response to HDACi in malignant hematopoietic cells.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
There is an unmet need to develop new, more effective and safe therapies for the aggressive forms of triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs). While up to 20% of women under 50 years of age with TNBC harbor germline mutations in BRCA1, and these tumors are sensitive to treatment with poly(ADP) ribose polymerase inhibitors, a majority of TNBCs lack BRCA1 mutations or loss of expression. Findings presented here demonstrate that by attenuating the levels of DNA damage response and homologous recombination proteins, pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) treatment induces 'BRCAness' and sensitizes TNBC cells lacking BRCA1 to lethal effects of PARP inhibitor or cisplatin. Treatment with HDI also induced hyperacetylation of nuclear hsp90. Similar effects were observed following shRNA-mediated depletion of HDAC3, confirming its role as the deacetylase for nuclear HSP90. Furthermore, cotreatment with HDI and ABT-888 induced significantly more DNA strand breaks than either agent alone, and synergistically induced apoptosis of TNBC cells. Notably, co-treatment with HDI and ABT-888 significantly reduced in vivo tumor growth and markedly improved the survival of mice bearing TNBC cell xenografts. These findings support the rationale to interrogate the clinical activity of this novel combination against human TNBC, irrespective of its expression of mutant BRCA1.
OBJECTIVES - Approximately 50% of serous epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC) contain molecular defects in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathways. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPi) have efficacy in HR-deficient, but not in HR-proficient, EOC tumors as a single agent. Our goal was to determine whether the histone deacetylase inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), can sensitize HR-proficient ovarian cancer cells to the PARPi AZD-2281 (olaparib).
METHODS - Ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV-3, OVCAR-8, NCI/ADR-Res, UWB1.289 BRCA1null and UWB1.289+BRCA1 wild-type) were treated with saline vehicle, olaparib, SAHA or olaparib/SAHA. Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assessed cytotoxicity and immunofluorescence and Western blot assays assessed markers of apoptosis (cleaved PARP) and DNA damage (pH2AX and RAD51). Drug effects were also tested in SKOV-3 xenografts in Nude mice. Affymetrix microarray experiments were performed in vehicle and SAHA-treated SKOV-3 cells.
RESULTS - In a microarray analysis, SAHA induced coordinated down-regulation of HR pathway genes, including RAD51 and BRCA1. Nuclear co-expression of RAD51 and pH2AX, a marker of efficient HR repair, was reduced approximately 40% by SAHA treatment alone and combined with olaparib. SAHA combined with olaparib induced apoptosis and pH2AX expression to a greater extent than either drug alone. Olaparib reduced cell viability at increasing concentrations and SAHA enhanced these effects in 4 of 5 cell lines, including BRCA1 null and wild-type cells, in vitro and in SKOV-3 xenografts in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide preclinical rationale for targeting DNA damage response pathways by combining small molecule PARPi with HDACi as a mechanism for reducing HR efficiency in ovarian cancer.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Phenylthiobutanoic acids (PTBAs) are a new class of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that accelerate recovery and reduce postinjury fibrosis after ischemia-reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury. However, unlike the more common scenario in which patients present with protracted and less clearly defined onset of renal injury, this model of acute kidney injury gives rise to a clearly defined injury that begins to resolve over a short period of time. In these studies, we show for the first time that treatment with the PTBA analog methyl-4-(phenylthio)butanoate (M4PTB) accelerates recovery and reduces postinjury fibrosis in a progressive model of acute kidney injury and renal fibrosis that occurs after aristolochic acid injection in mice. These effects are apparent when M4PTB treatment is delayed 4 days after the initiating injury and are associated with increased proliferation and decreased G2/M arrest of regenerating renal tubular epithelial cells. In addition, there is reduced peritubular macrophage infiltration and decreased expression of the macrophage chemokines CX3Cl1 and CCL2. Since macrophage infiltration plays a role in promoting kidney injury, and since renal tubular epithelial cells show defective repair and a marked increase in maladaptive G2/M arrest after aristolochic acid injury, these findings suggest M4PTB may be particularly beneficial in reducing injury and enhancing intrinsic cellular repair even when administered days after aristolochic acid ingestion.
Given the fundamental roles of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the regulation of DNA repair, replication, transcription and chromatin structure, it is fitting that therapies targeting HDAC activities are now being explored as anti-cancer agents. In fact, two histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs), SAHA and Depsipeptide, are FDA approved for single-agent treatment of refractory cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). An important target of these HDIs, histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), regulates processes such as DNA repair, metabolism, and tumorigenesis through the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Here we show that HDAC3 inhibition using a first in class selective inhibitor, RGFP966, resulted in decreased cell growth in CTCL cell lines due to increased apoptosis that was associated with DNA damage and impaired S phase progression. Through isolation of proteins on nascent DNA (iPOND), we found that HDAC3 was associated with chromatin and is present at and around DNA replication forks. DNA fiber labeling analysis showed that inhibition of HDAC3 resulted in a significant reduction in DNA replication fork velocity within the first hour of drug treatment. These results suggest that selective inhibition of HDAC3 could be useful in treatment of CTCL by disrupting DNA replication of the rapidly cycling tumor cells, ultimately leading to cell death.
Expression of claudin-1, a tight junction protein, is highly upregulated in colon cancer. We have reported that claudin-1 expression in colon cancer cells is epigenetically regulated as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors decrease claudin-1 messenger RNA (mRNA) stability and thus expression. In this regard, our data suggested a role of the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) in the regulation of HDAC-dependent regulation of claudin-1 mRNA stability. In the current study, we demonstrate, based on our continued investigation, that the ELAV-like RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), human antigen R (HuR) and tristetraprolin (TTP) associate with the 3'-UTR of claudin-1 mRNA to modulate the latter's stability. Ribonomic and site-directed mutagenesis approaches were used to confirm the binding of HuR and TTP to the 3'-UTR of claudin-1. We further confirmed their roles in the stabilization of claudin-1 mRNA, under conditions of HDAC inhibition. In summary, we report that HuR and TTP are the critical regulators of the posttranscriptional regulation of claudin-1 expression in colon cancer cells. We also demonstrate that inhibition of HDACs by trichostatin treatment decreased the binding of HuR while increasing the binding of TTP to the 3'-UTR of claudin-1. Additionally, we provide data showing transcriptional regulation of claudin-1 expression, through the regulation of transcription factor Sp1. Taken together, we demonstrate epigenetic regulation of claudin-1 expression in colon cancer cells at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels.
At present, there are no effective therapies to ameliorate injury, accelerate recovery, or prevent postinjury fibrosis after AKI. Here, we sought to identify candidate compounds that accelerate recovery after AKI by screening for small molecules that increase proliferation of renal progenitor cells in zebrafish embryos. One compound identified from this screen was the histone deacetylase inhibitor methyl-4-(phenylthio)butanoate, which we subsequently administered to zebrafish larvae and mice 24-48 hours after inducing AKI. In zebrafish, treatment with the compound increased larval survival and proliferation of renal tubular epithelial cells. In mice, treatment accelerated recovery, reduced postinjury tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis, and increased the regenerative capacity of actively cycling renal tubular cells by decreasing the number of cells in G2/M arrest. These data suggest that accelerating recovery may be a viable approach to treating AKI and provide proof of concept that a screen in zebrafish embryos can identify therapeutic candidates for kidney injury.
The piggyBac transposon system is a promising nonviral method to genetically modify T cells for immunotherapeutic applications. To evaluate the regulation and stability of transgene expression in human T cells modified with piggyBac-transposons, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were nucleofected with transposase and an enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP)-expressing transposon. Single-cell clones that were subsequently stimulated and expanded exhibited homogenous eGFP expression for >26 weeks in culture. CD3 stimulation of the T-cell receptor together with CD28-mediated costimulation resulted in an approximate 10-fold transient increase in eGFP expression, but immunomodulatory cytokines, including interferon-γ, interleukin-12, interleukin-4, and transforming growth factor-β, did not alter transgene expression in actively dividing, activated, or resting T cells. Epigenetic modification with 5-azacytidine or trichostatin-A increased transgene expression indicating that piggyBac-mediated transgene expression could be modulated by methylation or histone acetylation, respectively. We performed transposon copy number analysis of populations of stably transfected T cells, comparing transposon plasmids of 5.6 and 3.5 kb. The smaller vector achieved an average of 22 transposon copies per cell, whereas the larger vector achieved 1.6 copies/cell, implying that transposon copy number can be engineered to be low or high depending on the vector used. Our results provide important insight into the ability of piggyBac to achieve stable genetic modification of T cells for immunotherapy applications and how transgene expression might be regulated by TCR activation, cytokines, and epigenetic mechanisms.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) 3, as a cofactor in co-repressor complexes containing silencing mediator for retinoid or thyroid-hormone receptors (SMRT) and nuclear receptor co-repressor (N-CoR), has been shown to repress gene transcription in a variety of contexts. Here, we reveal a novel role for HDAC3 as a positive regulator of IL-1-induced gene expression. Various experimental approaches involving RNAi-mediated knockdown, conditional gene deletion or small molecule inhibitors indicate a positive role of HDAC3 for transcription of the majority of IL-1-induced human or murine genes. This effect was independent from the gene regulatory effects mediated by the broad-spectrum HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) and thus suggests IL-1-specific functions for HDAC3. The stimulatory function of HDAC3 for inflammatory gene expression involves a mechanism that uses binding to NF-κB p65 and its deacetylation at various lysines. NF-κB p65-deficient cells stably reconstituted to express acetylation mimicking forms of p65 (p65 K/Q) had largely lost their potential to stimulate IL-1-triggered gene expression, implying that the co-activating property of HDAC3 involves the removal of inhibitory NF-κB p65 acetylations at K122, 123, 314 and 315. These data describe a novel function for HDAC3 as a co-activator in inflammatory signaling pathways and help to explain the anti-inflammatory effects frequently observed for HDAC inhibitors in (pre)clinical use.