Year of publication
- 2012 (4) (remove)
- Impact of tumour microenvironmental factors on dendritic cell differentiation and function (2012)
- Um der Erkennung durch das körpereigene Immunsystem entkommen, weisen Tumore Modifikationen in ihrer Mikroumgebung auf. Zu diesen gehören u. a. veränderte Sauerstoffkonzentrationen im Tumorkern und die Freisetzung biochemischer Faktoren aus Tumorzellen, welche die Funktion von Tumor-assoziierten Phagozyten, wie z.B. Dendritischen Zellen (DC) beeinflussen. DC sind professionelle Antigen-präsentierende Zellen, die eine Spezialisierung in verschiedene funktionale Subtypen aufweisen. Myeloische DC (mDC) sind besonders effizient in Hinsicht auf die Präsentation von Antigenen, wohingegen plasmazytoide DC (pDC) regulatorisch auf das Immunsystem einwirken. Beide Subtypen spielen eine wichtige Rolle bei der Karzinogenese. Während humane mDC, zur therapeutischen Verwendung, ex vivo aus Monozyten hergestellt werden können, war dies für humane pDC bisher nicht möglich. Ein war deshalb ein erstes Ziel dieser Arbeit, ein Protokoll zur Generierung humaner pDC aus humanen Monozyten zu entwickeln. Diese wurden mittels des Wachstumsfaktors Fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3-L) zu pDC-Äquivalenten differenziert, welche als monocyte-derived pDC (mo-pDC) bezeichnet wurden. In der Tat zeigten mo-pDC ein für humane pDC charakteristisches Oberflächenmarkerprofil und wiesen, im Vergleich zu mDC, eine geringe Kapazität zur Induktion der Proliferation autologer T Zellen und zur Phagozytose apoptotischer Zellen auf. Mo-pDC erwarben im Verlauf ihrer Differenzierung aus Monozyten eine kontinuierlich erhöhte Expression des pDC-spezifischen Transkriptionfaktors E2-2 und seiner spezifischen Zielgene. Der wichtigste funktionale Parameter von pDC ist die Produktion großer Mengen von Interferon-α (IFN-α). Mo-pDC sezernierten, nach vorheriger Aktivierung mit Tumornekrosefaktor-α (TNF-α) oder wenn zu ihrer Differenzierung neben Flt3-L auch Vitamin D3 oder all-trans-Retinolsäure verwendet wurde, ebenfalls große Mengen IFN-α. Wurden mo-pDC unter Hypoxie, einem prominenten Faktor der Tumormikroumgebung, generiert, so waren die Expression des spezifischen Transkriptionsfaktors E2-2 und die Freisetzung von IFN-α stark vermindert. Diese Daten zeigten zunächst, dass mo-pDC für das Studium von Differenzierung und Funktion humaner pDC eingesetzt werden können. Weiterhin lieferten sie Hinweise auf eine veränderte Differenzierung humaner pDC unter Hypoxie. In einem nächsten Schritt wurde folglich untersucht, ob Hypoxie auch die Differenzierung von pDC aus deren physiologischen Vorläufern beeinflusst. Wurden Knochenmarkszellen der Maus mit Flt3-L unter Normoxie oder Hypoxie kultiviert, so war die Differenzierung zu pDC unter Hypoxie in der Tat unterdrückt. Dies war abhängig von der Hypoxie-induzierten Aktivität des Hypoxie-induzierten Faktors 1 (HIF-1), da die Flt3-Linduzierte Differenzierung von murinen Knochenmarkszellen, in denen die Expression von HIF-1 in pDC-Vorläuferzellen ausgeschaltet war, unter Hypoxie normal verlief. Zusammenfassend kann also gesagt werden, dass Hypoxie, durch Aktivierung von HIF-1, Differenzierung und Funktion von pDC unterdrückt. Dieser Mechanismus könnte zu ihrer beschriebenen Dysfunktion in humanen Tumoren beitragen. Neben Hypoxie sind viele andere Faktoren an der Immunsuppression in Tumoren beteiligt. Eine Komponente der Mikroumgebung in Tumoren ist das Vorhandensein apoptotischer Tumorzellen. Apoptose von Tumorzellen findet, im Kontrast zur generellen Sicht von Tumoren als Apoptose-resistente Entitäten, auch in unbehandelten Tumoren im Überfluss statt. Apoptotische körpereigene Zellen unterdrücken unter physiologischen Bedingungen das Immunsystem. Deshalb könnte das Freisetzen von apoptotischem Material oder die Sekretion von Faktoren aus sterbenden Tumorzellen einen starken Einfluss auf die Funktion von Tumor-assoziierten DC und die damit verbundene Aktivierung von tumoriziden Lymphozyten haben. Eine diesbezügliche Studie war das zweite Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit. Humane mDC wurden zu diesem Zweck mit Überständen lebender, apoptotischer oder nekrotischer humaner Brustkrebszellen aktiviert und anschließend mit autologen T Zellen ko-kultiviert. Danach wurde das zytotoxische Potential der ko-kultivierten T Zellen analysiert. Interessanterweise unterdrückte die Aktivierung mit Überständen apoptotischer Tumorzellen die DC-vermittelte Generierung tumorizider T Zellen durch die Ausprägung einer Population von regulatorischen T Zellen (Treg), die durch die gleichzeitige Expression der Oberflächenmoleküle CD39 und CD69 charakterisiert war. Die Ausprägung der CD39-und CD69-exprimierenden Treg Zell-Population war abhängig von der Freisetzung des bioaktiven Lipids Sphingosin-1-Phosphat (S1P) aus apoptotischen Zellen, welches durch den S1P-Rezeptor 4 zur Freisetzung des immunregulatorischen Zytokins IL-27 aus mDC führte. Neutralisierung von IL-27 in AC-aktivierten Ko-Kulturen von mDC und T Zellen blockierte die Generierung von CD39- und CD69-exprimierenden Treg Zellen und resultierte folglich in der Aktivierung zytotoxischer T Zellen. Weiterhin war die Bildung von Adenosin in den Ko-Kulturen für die Unterdrückung zytotoxischer T Zellen vonnöten. Erste Experimente lieferten Hinweise auf eine direkte Interaktion von CD69- und CD39-exprimierenden Treg Zellen mit CD73-exprimierenden zytotoxischen T Zellen. CD39 und CD73 werden für die Bildung von Adenosin aus ATP benötigt, weswegen die Interaktion von Treg Zellen und zytotoxischen T Zellen die Adenosin-Produktion fördern könnte. Zusammenfassend zeigen die hier präsentierten Befunde wie Faktoren der Tumormikroumgebung die Funktion von humanen DC Subtypen beeinflussen können. Ein Verständnis der zugrundeliegenden Mechanismen kann wertvolle Informationen für die Wahl effektiver Immuntherapien oder Chemotherapien liefern und so die Therapie humaner Tumore unterstützen.
- Macrophage polarization by apoptotic cancer cells - a RNAi high-throughput screen and validation of interleukin 10 regulation (2012)
- Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are a major supportive component within neoplasms and by their plasticity promote all phases of tumor development. Mechanisms of macrophage (M Phi) attraction and differentiation to a tumor-promoting phenotype, defined among others by distinct cytokine patterns such as pronounced immunosuppressive interleukin 10 (IL-10) production, are largely unknown. However, a high apoptosis index within tumors and strong M Phi infiltration correlate with poor prognosis. Thus, I aimed at identifying signaling pathways contributing to generation of TAM-like M Phi by using supernatant of apoptotic cancer cells (ACM) as stimulus. To distinguish novel factors involved in generating TAM-like M Phi, I used an adenoviral RNAi-based approach. The primary read-out was production of IL-10. However, mediators modulating IL-10 were re-validated for their impact on regulation of the cytokines IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12. Following assay development, optimization and down-scaling to a 384-well format, primary human M Phi were transduced with 8495 constructs of the adenoviral shRNA SilenceSelect® library of Galapagos BV, followed by activation to a TAM-like phenotype using ACM. I identified 96 genes involved in IL-10 production in response to ACM and observed a pronounced cluster of 22 targets regulating IL-10 and IL-6. Principal validation of five targets of the IL-10/IL-6 cluster was performed using siRNA or pharmacological inhibitors. Among those, IL-4 receptor-alpha and cannabinoid receptor 2 were confirmed as regulators of IL-10 and IL-6 secretion. One protein identified in the screen, the nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor TRKA was chosen for in-depth validation, based on its involvement in IL-10, IL-6 and IL-12 secretion from ACM-stimulated human M Phi. TRKA possesses a cardinal role in neuronal development, but compelling evidence emerges suggesting participation of TRKA in cancer development. First experiments using pharmacological inhibitors principally confirmed the involvement of TRKA in IL-10 secretion by ACM-stimulated M Phi and revealed PI3K/AKT and to a lesser extend MAPK p38 as important signaling molecules downstream of TRKA activation. Signaling through TRKA required the presence of its ligand NGF, as indicated by NGF neutralization experiments. NGF was not induced by or present in ACM, but was constitutively secreted by M Phi. Interestingly, M Phi responded to authentic NGF with neither AKT and p38 phosphorylation nor IL-10 production. TRKA is well known to be transactivated by other receptors and in neurons its cellular localization is decisive for its function. Inhibitors of common transactivation partners did not influence IL-10 production by human M Phi. Rather, ACM-treatment provoked pronounced translocation of TRKA to the plasma membrane within 10 minutes as observed by immunofluorescence staining. Consequently, I was intrigued to clarify mechanisms of TRKA trafficking in response to ACM. The bioactive lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) has been previously identified as important apoptotic cell-derived mediator involved in TAM-like M Phi polarization. Indeed, I observed S1P and src kinase involvement in ACM-mediated IL-10 induction. Furthermore, inhibition of S1P receptor (S1PR) signaling or src kinase activity prevented TRKA translocation, whereas a TRKA inhibitor or anti-NGF did not block TRKA trafficking to the plasma membrane in response to ACM. Thus, autocrine secreted NGF activated TRKA to promote IL-10 secretion, which required previous S1PR/src-dependent translocation of TRKA to the plasma membrane. Following the detailed analysis of IL-10 regulation, I was interested whether other TAM phenotype markers were influenced by ACM and whether their expression was regulated through TRKA-dependent signaling. Five of six markers were up-regulated on mRNA level by ACM, and secretion of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha was triggered. S1PR-signaling was essential for induction of all but one marker, whereas TRKA signaling was only required for cytokine secretion. Interestingly, none of the investigated TAM markers was regulated identically to IL-10, emphasizing a tight and exclusive regulation machinery of this potent immunosuppressive cytokine. Finally, I aimed to validate the in vitro findings in human ACM-stimulated M Phi. Therefore, I isolated murine TAM as well as other major mononuclear phagocyte populations from primary oncogene-induced breast cancer tissue. Indeed, TRKA-dependent signaling was required for spontaneous cytokine production selectively by primary murine TAM. Besides IL-10, the TRKA pathway was decisive for secretion of IL-6, TNF-alpha and monocyte chemotactic protein-1, indicating its relevance in cancer-associated inflammation. In summary, my findings highlight a fine-tuned regulatory system of S1P-dependent TRKA trafficking and autocrine NGF signaling in TAM biology. Both factors, S1P as well as NGF, might be interesting targets for future cancer therapy.
- Identification of translationally deregulated proteins during inflammation-associated tumorigenesis (2012)
- The translation of mRNAs into proteins is an elaborate and highly regulated process. Translational regulation primarily takes place at the level of initiation. During initation the eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) form a complex that binds to the 5’end of the mRNA to scan for a start codon. Once recognized, the ribosome is recruited to the mRNA and protein synthesis starts. Initiation of translation can basically occur via two distinct mechanisms, i.e. cap-dependent and cap-independent that is mediated via internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs). The former is mediated by a 5’cap structure composed of a 7-methylguanylate which is added to every mRNA during transcription and recruits the initiation complex. IRES-dependent translation involves elements within the 5’untranslated region (UTR) of the mRNA that mostly bind IRES trans-acting factors (ITAFs) which associate either with the initiation complex or with the ribosome itself and consequently allow for internal initiation of translation. During tumorigenesis the demand for proteins is increased due to rapid cell growth, which consequently requires enhanced translation. Many factors that regulate translation are overexpressed in tumors. Moreover, signaling pathways that trigger translation or further hyperactivated by the surrounding tumor microenvironment. This environment is largely generated by infiltration of immune cells such as macrophages that secrete cytokines and other mediators to promote tumorigenesis. As the effects of inflammatory conditions on the translation of specific targets are only poorly characterized, my study aimed at identifying translationally deregulated targets during inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. For this purpose, I cocultured MCF7 breast tumor cells with conditioned medium of activated monocyte-derived U937 macrophages (CM). Polysome profiling and microarray analysis identified 42 targets to be regulated at the level of translation. The results were validated by quantitative PCR and one target - early growth response 2 (EGR2) - was chosen for in depth analysis of the mechanism leading to its enhanced translation. In order to identify upstream signaling molecules causing enhanced EGR2 protein synthesis the cytokine profile of CM was analyzed and the impact of several cytokines on EGR2 translation was examined. Preincubation of CM with neutralizing antibodies revealed that lowering interleukin 6 (IL-6) had only little effect, whereas depletion of IL 1β significantly reduced EGR2 translation. This finding was corroborated by the fact that treatment with recombinant IL-1β enhanced EGR2 translation to virtually the same extend as CM. Further experiments revealed that this effect was mediated via the p38-MAPK signaling cascade. Interestingly, I observed that the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, which reduces cap-dependent translation, specifically stimulated EGR2 translation. This result argued for an IRES-dependent mechanism that might account for EGR2 translation. The use of bicistronic reporter assays verified this hypothesis. In line with the above mentioned results, CM, IL-1β and p38-MAPK induced EGR2-IRES activity. Since IRESs commonly require ITAFs to mediate translation initiation, the binding of proteins to the 5’UTR was analyzed using mass spectrometry. Among others, several previously described ITAFs, such as polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP-A1) were identified to directly bind to the EGR2-5’UTR. Furthermore, overexpression of hnRNP-A1 enhanced EGR2-IRES activity whereas a dominant negative form of hnRNP-A1 significantly decreased it, thus, showing its importance for EGR2 translation. In summary, my data provide evidence that EGR2 expression can be controlled by IRES-dependent translational regulation, which is responsive to an inflammatory environment. The identified mechanism may not be exclusive for one target but might be representative for gene expression regulation mechanisms during tumorigenesis. This is of special interest for the treatment of cancer patients and development of more specific therapies to reduce tumor outcome.
- Identification of erioflorin as a stabilizer of Pdcd4 by a HTS of natural products and discovery of its mechanism of action (2012)
- The tumor suppressor programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) exerts its function by inhibiting protein translation initiation. Specifically, it displaces the scaffold protein eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) from its binding to the eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A). Thereby, Pdcd4 inhibits the helicase activity of eIF4A, which is necessary for the unwinding of highly structured 5’ untranslated regions (UTRs) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) often found in oncogenes like c-myc to make them accessible for the translation machinery and subsequent protein production. Overexpression of Pdcd4 inhibits tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo and inversely, Pdcd4 knockout mice show enhanced tumor formation. In line, Pdcd4 is lost in various tumor types and proposed as prognostic factor in colon carcinomas. Unlike most other tumor suppressors that are rendered nonfunctional by mutations (e.g., p53), Pdcd4 loss is not attributable to mutational inactivation. It is regulated via translational repression by microRNAs and increased degradation of the protein under tumor promoting, inflammatory conditions and mitogens. Specifically, proteasomal degradation of Pdcd4 is controlled by p70 S6 Kinase (p70S6K)-mediated phosphorylation in its degron sequence (serines 67, 71 and 76). Stimulation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway by growth factors, hormones and cytokines initiates p70S6K activity. Phosphorylated Pdcd4 is subsequently recognized by the E3 ubiquitin ligase beta-transducin repeats-containing protein (β-TrCP) and marked with a polyubiquitin tail to be detected by the 26S proteasome for degradation. β-TrCP represents the substrate specific recognition subunit of the ubiquitin ligase complex responsible for protein-protein interaction with Pdcd4 as substrate for ubiquitin transfer and subsequent proteasomal disassembly. The first part of the present work aimed at identifying novel stabilizers of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 in a high throughput screen (HTS). As assay design, a fragment of Pdcd4 from amino acid 39 to 91, containing the phosphorylation sensitive degron sequence, was fused to a luciferase reporter gene construct. Stable expression of this Pdcd4(39-91)luciferase (Pdcd4(39-91)luc) fusion protein in HEK 293 cells served as read-out for the Pdcd4 protein amount to be detected in a high throughput compatible cell-based assay. Loss of Pdcd4(39-91)luc was induced by treatment with 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a phorbolester, which activates the PI3K signaling cascade leading to degradation of Pdcd4. The cut-off for hit definition was set at >50% activity in rescuing the Pdcd4(39-91)luc signal from TPA-induced degradation. Activity was calculated relative to the difference of DMSO- and TPA-treated cells (ΔDMSO-TPA = RLUDMSO-RLUTPA). Initial screening of a protein kinase inhibitor library (PKI) revealed hit substances expected to show Pdcd4 stabilizing activity by inhibition of kinases involved in Pdcd4 downregulation, e.g., the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, the PI3K inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 and the PKC inhibitors GF 109203X and Ro 31-8220. The Molecular Targets Laboratory (MTL) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, USA, hosts one of the largest collections of crude natural product extracts as well as a big substance libraries from pure synthetic sources. Screening of over 15 000 pure compounds and over 135 000 natural product extracts identified 46 pure and 42 extract hits as Pdcd4 stabilizers. For nine synthetic and six natural product derived compounds (after bioassay-guided fractionation), dose-dependent activities for recovering the TPA-induced Pdcd4(39-91)luc loss defined IC50s in the low micromolar range. Most importantly, these compounds were confirmed to stabilize endogenous Pdcd4 protein levels from forced degradation as well. This result proved the assay design to be highly representative for endogenous cellular mechanisms regulating Pdcd4 protein stability. The next step was to stratify the hit substances according to their likely mechanism of action to be located either up- or downstream of the p70S6K-mediated phosphorylation of Pdcd4. Therefore, phosphorylation of S6, as proto-typical p70S6K target, was analyzed and uncovered two natural derived compounds to influence p70S6K activity. Four substances did not affect p70S6K phosphorylation activity and were therefore considered to stabilize Pdcd4 by acting downstream, i.e. on the β-TrCP-mediated proteasomal degradation. In the second part of this work, one of these compounds, namely the sesquiterpene lactone erioflorin, isolated by bioassay-guided fraction from the active extract of Eriophyllum lanatum, Asteraceae, was further characterized in detail with respect to its molecular mechanism of action. Erioflorin dose-dependently protected both Pdcd4(39-91)luc and endogenous Pdcd4 protein from TPA-induced degradation with IC50s of 1.28 and 2.64 μM, respectively. Pdcd4 stabilizing activity was maximal at 5 μM erioflorin. Up to this concentration, erioflorin was verified not to inhibit p70S6K activity. In addition, it was observed that erioflorin rescued Pdcd4(39-91)luc from both, wild type and constitutively active p70S6K-mediated downregulation. Only wild type p70S6K was inhibitable by the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin which served as an upstream acting control. To study the next section of Pdcd4 regulation, i.e. recognition by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP, Pdcd4(39-91)luc and endogenous Pdcd4 were immunoprecipitated from whole cell extracts with the corresponding antibodies. In this key experiment, treatment with TPA increased overexpressed β-TrCP binding to both and this coimmunoprecipitation could be strongly reduced by erioflorin treatment. This result strongly pointed to an inhibitory mechanism of the β-TrCP specific binding to Pdcd4 by erioflorin. In addition, erioflorin disrupted the binding of in vitro transcribed/translated β-TrCP to Pdcd4 in an in vitro interaction assay to exclude nonspecific intracellular signals. Furthermore, polyubiquitination of Pdcd4 was decreased by erioflorin treatment as well. To clarify questions regarding specificity of erioflorin for the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP, stability of another important β-TrCP target was explored, i.e. the tumor suppressor inhibitor of kappa B alpha (IκBα). Indeed, the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)-mediated loss of IκBα could be prevented by erioflorin cotreatment. On the other hand, the E3 ubiquitin ligase von Hippel Lindau protein (pVHL) was left unaffected as its target hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) could not be stabilized from oxygen-dependent degradation by erioflorin treatment. These results argued strongly for erioflorin being a specific inhibitor of β-TrCP-mediated protein degradation. Functional consequences of erioflorin treatment were investigated by observing its influence on the transcriptional activities of the transformation marker activator protein 1 (AP-1, an indirect downstream target of Pdcd4) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB which is directly inhibited by IκBα). Indeed, erioflorin showed significant inhibition of AP-1 and NF-κB reporter constructs at 5 μM, a concentration for which an impact on cell viability was excluded. Finally to characterize the significance of erioflorin in a cell-based tumorigenesis assay, the highly invasive colon carcinoma cell line RKO was tested in a two dimensional migration assay. Erioflorin was discovered to significantly lower cell migration in a wound closure assay. In conclusion, development of a high throughput compatible cell-based reporter assay successfully identified novel substances from pure synthetic and natural product derived background as potent stabilizers of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4. In addition, this work aimed at elucidating the detailed mechanism of action of the sesquiterpene lactone erioflorin from Eriophyllum lanatum, Asteraceae. Erioflorin was discovered to inhibit the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP, thereby preventing protein degradation of tumor suppressors like Pdcd4 and IκBα. This may offer the possibility to more specifically target protein degradation and generate less adverse side effects by blocking a particular E3 ubiquitin ligase compared to general proteasome inhibition.