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BACKGROUND & AIMS - Known genetic factors explain only a small fraction of genetic variation in colorectal cancer (CRC). We conducted a genome-wide association study to identify risk loci for CRC.
METHODS - This discovery stage included 8027 cases and 22,577 controls of East-Asian ancestry. Promising variants were evaluated in studies including as many as 11,044 cases and 12,047 controls. Tumor-adjacent normal tissues from 188 patients were analyzed to evaluate correlations of risk variants with expression levels of nearby genes. Potential functionality of risk variants were evaluated using public genomic and epigenomic databases.
RESULTS - We identified 4 loci associated with CRC risk; P values for the most significant variant in each locus ranged from 3.92 × 10(-8) to 1.24 × 10(-12): 6p21.1 (rs4711689), 8q23.3 (rs2450115, rs6469656), 10q24.3 (rs4919687), and 12p13.3 (rs11064437). We also identified 2 risk variants at loci previously associated with CRC: 10q25.2 (rs10506868) and 20q13.3 (rs6061231). These risk variants, conferring an approximate 10%-18% increase in risk per allele, are located either inside or near protein-coding genes that include transcription factor EB (lysosome biogenesis and autophagy), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3, subunit H (initiation of translation), cytochrome P450, family 17, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (steroidogenesis), splA/ryanodine receptor domain and SOCS box containing 2 (proteasome degradation), and ribosomal protein S2 (ribosome biogenesis). Gene expression analyses showed a significant association (P < .05) for rs4711689 with transcription factor EB, rs6469656 with eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3, subunit H, rs11064437 with splA/ryanodine receptor domain and SOCS box containing 2, and rs6061231 with ribosomal protein S2.
CONCLUSIONS - We identified susceptibility loci and genes associated with CRC risk, linking CRC predisposition to steroid hormone, protein synthesis and degradation, and autophagy pathways and providing added insight into the mechanism of CRC pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2016 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
After significant injury, the liver must maintain homeostasis during the regenerative process. We hypothesized the existence of mechanisms to limit hepatocyte proliferation after injury to maintain metabolic and synthetic function. A screen for candidates revealed suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2), an inhibitor of growth hormone (GH) signaling, was strongly induced after partial hepatectomy. Using genetic deletion and administration of various factors we investigated the role of SOCS2 during liver regeneration. SOCS2 preserves liver function by restraining the first round of hepatocyte proliferation after partial hepatectomy by preventing increases in growth hormone receptor (GHR) via ubiquitination, suppressing GH pathway activity. At later times, SOCS2 enhances hepatocyte proliferation by modulating a decrease in serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) that allows GH release from the pituitary. SOCS2, therefore, plays a dual role in modulating the rate of hepatocyte proliferation. In particular, this is the first demonstration of an endogenous mechanism to limit hepatocyte proliferation after injury.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 has been suggested to regulate CXCR4 signaling in a variety of human cell lines. In mice, conditional SOCS3 inactivation in hematopoietic cells including B-lineage lymphocytes has been reported to exacerbate CXCR4-signaling and focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation, which resulted in altered immature B cell distribution in bone marrow (BM) due to sustained α4β1 integrin-mediated adhesion to the extracellular matrix. However, a recent study examining conditional SOCS3 deletion specifically in B-lineage cells failed to detect significant roles in B-lineage cell retention in BM. In this study we carefully examined the role played by SOCS3 in CXCR4 signaling in developing B cell subsets. We show that in mice conditionally deficient in SOCS3 exclusively in B cells (Socs3fl/fl Mb1cre/+) there was no detectable difference in B cell development in BM and in periphery. We show that SOCS3 deficient and sufficient immature B cell subsets are similarly distributed between BM parenchyma and sinusoids, and are equally competent at exiting BM into peripheral blood. Furthermore, we found no significant differences in CXCR4 desensitization upon ligand exposure in developing B lymphocyte subsets. Consequently, SOCS3-deficient and sufficient B-lineage cell migration towards CXCL12 in vitro was undistinguishable, and B-lineage cell amoeboid motility within BM parenchyma was also unaffected by SOCS3-deficiency. Thus we conclude that SOCS3 has no detectable influence on biological processes known to be controlled by CXCR4 signaling.
Macrophages dictate both initiation and resolution of inflammation. During acute inflammation classically activated macrophages (M1) predominate, and during the resolution phase alternative macrophages (M2) are dominant. The molecular mechanisms involved in macrophage polarization are understudied. MicroRNAs are differentially expressed in M1 and M2 macrophages that influence macrophage polarization. We identified a role of miR-21 in macrophage polarization, and found that cross-talk between miR-21 and the lipid mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a determining factor in macrophage polarization. miR-21 inhibition impairs expression of M2 signature genes but not M1 genes. PGE2 and its downstream effectors PKA and Epac inhibit miR-21 expression and enhance expression of M2 genes, and this effect is more pronounced in miR-21-/- cells. Among potential targets involved in macrophage polarization, we found that STAT3 and SOCS1 were enhanced in miR-21-/- cells and further enhanced by PGE2. We found that STAT3 was a direct target of miR-21 in macrophages. Silencing the STAT3 gene abolished PGE2-mediated expression of M2 genes in miR-21-/- macrophages. These data shed light on the molecular brakes involved in homeostatic macrophage polarization and suggest new therapeutic strategies to prevent inflammatory responses.
MicroRNAs are known to control TLR activation in phagocytes. We have shown that leukotriene (LT) B4 (LTB4) positively regulates macrophage MyD88 expression by decreasing suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1) mRNA stability. In this study, we investigated the possibility that LTB4 control of MyD88 expression involves the generation of microRNAs. Our data show that LTB4, via its receptor B leukotriene receptor 1 (BLT1) and Gαi signaling, increased macrophage expression of inflammatory microRNAs, including miR-155, miR-146b, and miR-125b. LTB4-mediated miR-155 generation was attributable to activating protein-1 activation. Furthermore, macrophage transfection with antagomirs against miR-155 and miR-146b prevented both the LTB4-mediated decrease in SOCS-1 and increase in MyD88. Transfection with miR-155 and miR-146b mimics decreased SOCS-1 levels, increased MyD88 expression, and restored TLR4 responsiveness in both wild type and LT-deficient macrophages. To our knowledge, our data unveil a heretofore unrecognized role for the GPCR BLT1 in controlling expression of microRNAs that regulate MyD88-dependent activation of macrophages.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, and numerous studies have shown that MS has a strong genetic component. Independent studies to identify MS-associated genes have often indicated multiple signals in physically close genomic regions, although by their proximity it is not always clear if these data indicate redundant or truly independent genetic signals. Recently, three MS study samples were genotyped in parallel using an Illumina Custom BeadChip. These revealed multiple significantly associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms within a 600 kb stretch on chromosome 16p13. Here we present a detailed analysis of variants in this region that clarifies the independent nature of these signals. The linkage disequilibrium patterns in the region and logistic regression analysis of the associations suggest that this region likely harbors three independent MS disease loci. Further, we examined cis-expression QTLs, histone modifications and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) binding data in the region. We also tested for correlated expression of the genes from the region using whole-genome expression array data from lymphoblastoid cell lines. Three of the genes show expression correlations across loci. Furthermore, in the GM12878 lymphoblastoid cell line, these three genes are in a continuous region devoid of H3K27 methylation, suggesting an open chromatin configuration. This region likely only contributes minimal risk to MS; however, investigation of this region will undoubtedly provide insight into the functional mechanisms of these genes. These data highlight the importance of taking a closer look at the expression and function of chromosome 16p13 in the pathogenesis of MS.
Activation of NF-κB and 5-lipoxygenase-mediated (5-LO-mediated) biosynthesis of the lipid mediator leukotriene B4 (LTB4) are pivotal components of host defense and inflammatory responses. However, the role of LTB4 in mediating innate immune responses elicited by specific TLR ligands and cytokines is unknown. Here we have shown that responses dependent on MyD88 (an adaptor protein that mediates signaling through all of the known TLRs, except TLR3, as well as IL-1β and IL-18) are reduced in mice lacking either 5-LO or the LTB4 receptor BTL1, and that macrophages from these mice are impaired in MyD88-dependent activation of NF-κB. This macrophage defect was associated with lower basal and inducible expression of MyD88 and reflected impaired activation of STAT1 and overexpression of the STAT1 inhibitor SOCS1. Expression of MyD88 and responsiveness to the TLR4 ligand LPS were decreased by Stat1 siRNA silencing in WT macrophages and restored by Socs1 siRNA in 5-LO-deficient macrophages. These results uncover a pivotal role in macrophages for the GPCR BLT1 in regulating activation of NF-κB through Stat1-dependent expression of MyD88.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) regulates the proinflammatory cytokine signaling mediated by the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. SOCS3 is rapidly induced and then targeted to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway via a mechanism that requires the C-terminal SOCS box. Due to its rapid turnover, the intracellular stores of SOCS3 seem insufficient to control acute or protracted inflammatory diseases. Previously, we developed an intracellular protein therapy that uses a recombinant cell-penetrating form of SOCS3 (CP-SOCS3) to inhibit the JAK/STAT pathway and prevent cytokine-mediated lethal inflammation and apoptosis of the liver (Jo, D., Liu, D., Yao, S., Collins, R. D., and Hawiger, J. (2005) Nat. Med. 11, 892-898). The potent anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activity of CP-SOCS3 prompted us to analyze its intracellular turnover, as compared with that of endogenous SOCS3 protein induced in macrophages by the proinflammatory agonists, interferon-gamma and lipopolysaccharide. We found that the half-life (t(1/2)) of endogenous SOCS3 is 0.7 h in activated macrophages, compared with a t(1/2) of 6.2 h for recombinant CP-SOCS3. Deletion of the SOCS box in CP-SOCS3 renders it more resistant to proteasomal degradation, extending its t(1/2) to 29 h. Consequently, this SOCS box-deleted form of CP-SOCS3 displays persistent inhibitory activity for 24 h toward interferon-gamma- and lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine and chemokine production. Compared with the wild-type suppressor, this gain-of-function CP-SOCS3 mutant provides a longer acting inhibitor of cytokine signaling, a feature that offers a clear advantage for the intracellular delivery of proteins to treat acute or protracted inflammatory diseases.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS1) is an intracellular inhibitor of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway that couples interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) signaling to the nucleus. Because several inflammatory diseases are associated with uncontrolled IFN-gamma signaling, we engineered a recombinant cell-penetrating SOCS1 (CP-SOCS1) to target this pathway. Here, we show that CP-SOCS1, analogous to endogenous SOCS1, interacted with components of the IFN-gamma signaling complex and functionally attenuated the phosphorylation of STAT1, which resulted in the subsequent inhibition of the production of proinflammatory chemokines and cytokines. Thus, controlled, intracellular delivery of recombinant CP-SOCS1 boosted the anti-inflammatory potential of the cell by restoring the homeostatic balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling. This approach to controlling signal transduction has potential use for therapeutic targeting of signaling pathways associated with inflammatory diseases.
PURPOSE - We conducted this phase II trial to determine the efficacy of erlotinib in patients with bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) and adenocarcinoma, BAC subtype, and to determine molecular characteristics associated with response.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Patients (n = 101) with BAC (n = 12) or adenocarcinoma, BAC subtype (n = 89), were enrolled. All patients received erlotinib 150 mg daily. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, EGFR copy number, EGFR immunohistochemistry (IHC), and KRAS mutation status were analyzed in available tumors. The primary end point was response rate (RR).
RESULTS - Overall RR was 22% (95% CI, 14% to 31%). In patients with pure BAC, the RR and median survival were 20% and 4 months, as compared with 23% and 19 months in those with adenocarcinoma, BAC subtype. No patient (zero of 18; 95% CI, 0% to 19%) whose tumor harbored a KRAS mutation responded to erlotinib. Patients with EGFR mutations had an 83% RR (15 of 18; 95% CI, 65% to 94%) and 23-month median OS. On univariate analysis, EGFR mutation and copy number were associated with RR and PFS. EGFR IHC was not associated with RR or progression-free survival (PFS). After multivariate analysis, only EGFR mutation was associated with RR and PFS. No molecular factors were associated with overall survival.
CONCLUSION - Erlotinib is active in BAC and adenocarcinoma, mixed subtype, BAC. Testing for EGFR and KRAS mutations can predict RR and PFS after treatment with erlotinib in this histologically enriched subset of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These data suggest that histologic subtype and molecular characteristics should be reported in clinical trials in NSCLC using EGFR-directed therapy.