Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    The Ubiquitin Ligase Adaptor NDFIP1 Selectively Enforces a CD8+ T Cell Tolerance Checkpoint to High-Dose Antigen
    Wagle, M ; Marchingo, JM ; Howitt, J ; Tan, S-S ; Goodnow, CC ; Parish, IA (CELL PRESS, 2018-07-17)
    Escape from peripheral tolerance checkpoints that control cytotoxic CD8+ T cells is important for cancer immunotherapy and autoimmunity, but pathways enforcing these checkpoints are mostly uncharted. We reveal that the HECT-type ubiquitin ligase activator, NDFIP1, enforces a cell-intrinsic CD8+ T cell checkpoint that desensitizes TCR signaling during in vivo exposure to high antigen levels. Ndfip1-deficient OT-I CD8+ T cells responding to high exogenous tolerogenic antigen doses that normally induce anergy aberrantly expanded and differentiated into effector cells that could precipitate autoimmune diabetes in RIP-OVAhi mice. In contrast, NDFIP1 was dispensable for peripheral deletion to low-dose exogenous or pancreatic islet-derived antigen and had little impact upon effector responses to Listeria or acute LCMV infection. These data provide evidence that NDFIP1 mediates a CD8+ T cell tolerance checkpoint, with a different mechanism to CD4+ T cells, and indicates that CD8+ T cell deletion and anergy are molecularly separable checkpoints.
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    JAK2 is dispensable for maintenance of JAK2 mutant B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias
    Kim, S-K ; Knight, DA ; Jones, LR ; Vervoort, S ; Ng, AP ; Seymour, JF ; Bradner, JE ; Waibel, M ; Kats, L ; Johnstone, RW (COLD SPRING HARBOR LAB PRESS, PUBLICATIONS DEPT, 2018-06-01)
    Activating JAK2 point mutations are implicated in the pathogenesis of myeloid and lymphoid malignancies, including high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). In preclinical studies, treatment of JAK2 mutant leukemias with type I JAK2 inhibitors (e.g., Food and Drug Administration [FDA]-approved ruxolitinib) provided limited single-agent responses, possibly due to paradoxical JAK2Y1007/1008 hyperphosphorylation induced by these agents. To determine the importance of mutant JAK2 in B-ALL initiation and maintenance, we developed unique genetically engineered mouse models of B-ALL driven by overexpressed Crlf2 and mutant Jak2, recapitulating the genetic aberrations found in human B-ALL. While expression of mutant Jak2 was necessary for leukemia induction, neither its continued expression nor enzymatic activity was required to maintain leukemia survival and rapid proliferation. CRLF2/JAK2 mutant B-ALLs with sustained depletion or pharmacological inhibition of JAK2 exhibited enhanced expression of c-Myc and prominent up-regulation of c-Myc target genes. Combined indirect targeting of c-Myc using the BET bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 and direct targeting of JAK2 with ruxolitinib potently killed JAK2 mutant B-ALLs.
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    The transcription factor Nerfin-1 prevents reversion of neurons into neural stem cells
    Froldi, F ; Szuperak, M ; Weng, C-F ; Shi, W ; Papenfuss, AT ; Cheng, LY (COLD SPRING HARBOR LAB PRESS, PUBLICATIONS DEPT, 2015-01-15)
    Cellular dedifferentiation is the regression of a cell from a specialized state to a more multipotent state and is implicated in cancer. However, the transcriptional network that prevents differentiated cells from reacquiring stem cell fate is so far unclear. Neuroblasts (NBs), the Drosophila neural stem cells, are a model for the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Here we show that the Drosophila zinc finger transcription factor Nervous fingers 1 (Nerfin-1) locks neurons into differentiation, preventing their reversion into NBs. Following Prospero-dependent neuronal specification in the ganglion mother cell (GMC), a Nerfin-1-specific transcriptional program maintains differentiation in the post-mitotic neurons. The loss of Nerfin-1 causes reversion to multipotency and results in tumors in several neural lineages. Both the onset and rate of neuronal dedifferentiation in nerfin-1 mutant lineages are dependent on Myc- and target of rapamycin (Tor)-mediated cellular growth. In addition, Nerfin-1 is required for NB differentiation at the end of neurogenesis. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis show that Nerfin-1 administers its function by repression of self-renewing-specific and activation of differentiation-specific genes. Our findings support the model of bidirectional interconvertibility between neural stem cells and their post-mitotic progeny and highlight the importance of the Nerfin-1-regulated transcriptional program in neuronal maintenance.
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    IL-23 costimulates antigen-specific MAIT cell activation and enables vaccination against bacterial infection
    Wang, H ; Kjer-Nielsen, L ; Shi, M ; D'Souza, C ; Pediongco, TJ ; Cao, H ; Kostenko, L ; Lim, XY ; Eckle, SBG ; Meehan, BS ; Zhu, T ; Wang, B ; Zhao, Z ; Mak, JYW ; Fairlie, DP ; Teng, MWL ; Rossjohn, J ; Yu, D ; de St Groth, BF ; Lovrecz, G ; Lu, L ; McCluskey, J ; Strugnell, RA ; Corbett, AJ ; Chen, Z (AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE, 2019-11-01)
    Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are activated in a TCR-dependent manner by antigens derived from the riboflavin synthesis pathway, including 5-(2-oxopropylideneamino)-6-D-ribitylaminouracil (5-OP-RU), bound to MHC-related protein-1 (MR1). However, MAIT cell activation in vivo has not been studied in detail. Here, we have found and characterized additional molecular signals required for optimal activation and expansion of MAIT cells after pulmonary Legionella or Salmonella infection in mice. We show that either bone marrow–derived APCs or non–bone marrow–derived cells can activate MAIT cells in vivo, depending on the pathogen. Optimal MAIT cell activation in vivo requires signaling through the inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS), which is highly expressed on MAIT cells. Subsequent expansion and maintenance of MAIT-17/1-type responses are dependent on IL-23. Vaccination with IL-23 plus 5-OP-RU augments MAIT cell–mediated control of pulmonary Legionella infection. These findings reveal cellular and molecular targets for manipulating MAIT cell function under physiological conditions.
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    CDK4/6 inhibition: the late harvest cycle begins
    Goel, S ; Zhao, JJ (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2016-08-02)
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    An alternative splicing switch in FLNB promotes the mesenchymal cell state in human breast cancer
    Li, J ; Choi, PS ; Chaffer, CL ; Labella, K ; Hwang, JH ; Giacomelli, AO ; Kim, JW ; Ilic, N ; Doench, JG ; Ly, SH ; Dai, C ; Hagel, K ; Hong, AL ; Gjoerup, O ; Goel, S ; Ge, JY ; Root, DE ; Zhao, JJ ; Brooks, AN ; Weinberg, RA ; Hahn, WC (ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-07-30)
    Alternative splicing of mRNA precursors represents a key gene expression regulatory step and permits the generation of distinct protein products with diverse functions. In a genome-scale expression screen for inducers of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), we found a striking enrichment of RNA-binding proteins. We validated that QKI and RBFOX1 were necessary and sufficient to induce an intermediate mesenchymal cell state and increased tumorigenicity. Using RNA-seq and eCLIP analysis, we found that QKI and RBFOX1 coordinately regulated the splicing and function of the actin-binding protein FLNB, which plays a causal role in the regulation of EMT. Specifically, the skipping of FLNB exon 30 induced EMT by releasing the FOXC1 transcription factor. Moreover, skipping of FLNB exon 30 is strongly associated with EMT gene signatures in basal-like breast cancer patient samples. These observations identify a specific dysregulation of splicing, which regulates tumor cell plasticity and is frequently observed in human cancer.
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    CDK4/6 inhibition in breast cancer: current practice and future directions
    Pernas, S ; Tolaney, SM ; Winer, EP ; Goel, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-07-17)
    The cyclin D/cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6)-retinoblastoma protein (RB) pathway plays a key role in the proliferation of both normal breast epithelium and breast cancer cells. A strong rationale for inhibiting CDK4/6 in breast cancers has been present for many years. However, potent and selective CDK4/6 inhibitors have only recently become available. These agents prevent phosphorylation of the RB tumor suppressor, thereby invoking cancer cell cycle arrest in G1. CDK4/6 inhibitors have transited rapidly from preclinical studies to the clinical arena, and three have already been approved for the treatment of advanced, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer patients on account of striking clinical trial results demonstrating substantial improvements in progression-free survival. ER-positive breast cancers harbor several molecular features that would predict their sensitivity to CDK4/6 inhibitors. As physicians gain experience with using these agents in the clinic, new questions arise: are CDK4/6 inhibitors likely to be useful for patients with other subtypes of breast cancer? Are there other agents that could be effectively combined with CDK4/6 inhibitors, beyond endocrine therapy? Is there a rationale for combining CDK4/6 inhibitors with novel immune-based therapies? In this review, we describe not only the clinical data available to date, but also the biology of the CDK4/6 pathway and discuss answers to these questions. In particular, we highlight that CDK4 and CDK6 govern much more than the cancer cell cycle, and that their optimal use in the clinic depends on a deeper understanding of the less well characterized effects of these enzymes.
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    Estrogen Receptor β Activation Impairs Prostatic Regeneration by Inducing Apoptosis in Murine and Human Stem/Progenitor Enriched Cell Populations
    Hussain, S ; Lawrence, MG ; Taylor, RA ; Lo, CY-W ; BioResource, APC ; Frydenberg, M ; Ellem, SJ ; Furic, L ; Risbridger, GP ; Tang, DG (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-07-10)
    Androgen depletion is the primary treatment for prostate disease; however, it fails to target residual castrate-resistant cells that are regenerative and cells of origin of prostate cancer. Estrogens, like androgens, regulate survival in prostatic cells, and the goal of this study was to determine the advantages of selective activation of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) to induce cell death in stem cells that are castrate-resistant. Here we show two cycles of short-term ERβ agonist (8β-VE2) administration this treatment impairs regeneration, causing cystic atrophy that correlates with sustained depletion of p63+ basal cells. Furthermore, agonist treatment attenuates clonogenicity and self-renewal of murine prostatic stem/progenitor cells and depletes both murine (Lin(-)Sca1(+)CD49f(hi)) and human (CD49f(hi)Trop2(hi)) prostatic basal cells. Finally, we demonstrate the combined added benefits of selective stimulation of ERβ, including the induction of cell death in quiescent post-castration tissues. Subsequent to castration ERβ-induces further apoptosis in basal, luminal and intermediate cells. Our results reveal a novel benefit of ERβ activation for prostate disease and suggest that combining selective activation of ERβ with androgen-deprivation may be a feasible strategy to target stem cells implicated in the origin of prostatic disease.
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    mTORC1 and CK2 coordinate ternary and eIF4F complex assembly
    Gandin, V ; Masvidal, L ; Cargnello, M ; Gyenis, L ; McLaughlan, S ; Cai, Y ; Tenkerian, C ; Morita, M ; Balanathan, P ; Jean-Jean, O ; Stambolic, V ; Trost, M ; Furic, L ; Larose, L ; Koromilas, AE ; Asano, K ; Litchfield, D ; Larsson, O ; Topisirovic, I (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-04)
    Ternary complex (TC) and eIF4F complex assembly are the two major rate-limiting steps in translation initiation regulated by eIF2α phosphorylation and the mTOR/4E-BP pathway, respectively. How TC and eIF4F assembly are coordinated, however, remains largely unknown. We show that mTOR suppresses translation of mRNAs activated under short-term stress wherein TC recycling is attenuated by eIF2α phosphorylation. During acute nutrient or growth factor stimulation, mTORC1 induces eIF2β phosphorylation and recruitment of NCK1 to eIF2, decreases eIF2α phosphorylation and bolsters TC recycling. Accordingly, eIF2β mediates the effect of mTORC1 on protein synthesis and proliferation. In addition, we demonstrate a formerly undocumented role for CK2 in regulation of translation initiation, whereby CK2 stimulates phosphorylation of eIF2β and simultaneously bolsters eIF4F complex assembly via the mTORC1/4E-BP pathway. These findings imply a previously unrecognized mode of translation regulation, whereby mTORC1 and CK2 coordinate TC and eIF4F complex assembly to stimulate cell proliferation.
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    Pro-tumorigenic role of ERα in prostate cancer cells
    Furic, L ; Lawrence, MG ; Risbridger, GP (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2015-06)