Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Publications

The Babraham Institute Publications database contains details of all publications resulting from our research groups and scientific services.

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Title / Authors / Details Open Access Download

A non-proteolytic role for ubiquitin in deadenylation of MHC-I mRNA by the RNA-binding E3-ligase MEX-3C.
Cano F, Rapiteanu R, Sebastiaan Winkler G, Lehner PJ

The regulation of protein and mRNA turnover is essential for many cellular processes. We recently showed that ubiquitin-traditionally linked to protein degradation-directly regulates the degradation of mRNAs through the action of a newly identified family of RNA-binding E3 ubiquitin ligases. How ubiquitin regulates mRNA decay remains unclear. Here, we identify a new role for ubiquitin in regulating deadenylation, the initial and often rate-limiting step in mRNA degradation. MEX-3C, a canonical member of this family of RNA-binding ubiquitin ligases, associates with the cytoplasmic deadenylation complexes and ubiquitinates CNOT7(Caf1), the main catalytic subunit of the CCR4-NOT deadenylation machinery. We establish a new role for ubiquitin in regulating MHC-I mRNA deadenylation as ubiquitination of CNOT7 by MEX-3C regulates its deadenylation activity and is required for MHC-I mRNA degradation. Since neither proteasome nor lysosome inhibitors rescued MEX-3C-mediated MHC-I mRNA degradation, our findings suggest a new non-proteolytic function for ubiquitin in the regulation of mRNA decay.

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Nature communications, 6, 2041-1723, 8670, 2015

PMID: 26471122


Do genome-scale models need exact solvers or clearer standards?
Ebrahim A, Almaas E, Bauer E, Bordbar A, Burgard AP, Chang RL, Dräger A, Famili I, Feist AM, Fleming RM, Fong SS, Hatzimanikatis V, Herrgård MJ, Holder A, Hucka M, Hyduke D, Jamshidi N, Lee SY, Le Novère N, Lerman JA, Lewis NE, Ma D, Mahadevan R, Maranas C, Nagarajan H, Navid A, Nielsen J, Nielsen LK, Nogales J, Noronha A, Pal C, Palsson BO, Papin JA, Patil KR, Price ND, Reed JL, Saunders M, Senger RS, Sonnenschein N, Sun Y, Thiele I

Molecular systems biology, 11, 1744-4292, 831, 2015

PMID: 26467284


Open Access

Perturbations of PIP3 signalling trigger a global remodelling of mRNA landscape and reveal a transcriptional feedback loop.
Kiselev VY, Juvin V, Malek M, Luscombe N, Hawkins P, Novère NL, Stephens L

PIP3 is synthesized by the Class I PI3Ks and regulates complex cell responses, such as growth and migration. Signals that drive long-term reshaping of cell phenotypes are difficult to resolve because of complex feedback networks that operate over extended times. PIP3-dependent modulation of mRNA accumulation is clearly important in this process but is poorly understood. We have quantified the genome-wide mRNA-landscape of non-transformed, breast epithelium-derived MCF10a cells and its response to acute regulation by EGF, in the presence or absence of a PI3Kα inhibitor, compare it to chronic activation of PI3K signalling by cancer-relevant mutations (isogenic cells expressing an oncomutant PI3Kα allele or lacking the PIP3-phosphatase/tumour-suppressor, PTEN). Our results show that whilst many mRNAs are changed by long-term genetic perturbation of PIP3 signalling ('butterfly effect'), a much smaller number do so in a coherent fashion with the different PIP3 perturbations. This suggests a subset of more directly regulated mRNAs. We show that mRNAs respond differently to given aspects of PIP3 regulation. Some PIP3-sensitive mRNAs encode PI3K pathway components, thus suggesting a transcriptional feedback loop. We identify the transcription factor binding motifs SRF and PRDM1 as important regulators of PIP3-sensitive mRNAs involved in cell movement.

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Nucleic acids research, , 1362-4962, , 2015

PMID: 26464442


Open Access

Reduced number of axonal mitochondria and tau hypophosphorylation in mouse P301L tau knockin neurons.
Rodríguez-Martín T, Pooler AM, Lau DH, Mórotz GM, De Vos KJ, Gilley J, Coleman MP, Hanger DP

Expression of the frontotemporal dementia-related tau mutation, P301L, at physiological levels in adult mouse brain (KI-P301L mice) results in overt hypophosphorylation of tau and age-dependent alterations in axonal mitochondrial transport in peripheral nerves. To determine the effects of P301L tau expression in the central nervous system, we examined the kinetics of mitochondrial axonal transport and tau phosphorylation in primary cortical neurons from P301L knock-in (KI-P301L) mice. We observed a significant 50% reduction in the number of mitochondria in the axons of cortical neurons cultured from KI-P301L mice compared to wild-type neurons. Expression of murine P301L tau did not change the speed, direction of travel or likelihood of movement of mitochondria. Notably, the angle that defines the orientation of the mitochondria in the axon, and the volume of individual moving mitochondria, were significantly increased in neurons expressing P301L tau. We found that murine tau phosphorylation in KI-P301L mouse neurons was diminished and the ability of P301L tau to bind to microtubules was also reduced compared to tau in wild-type neurons. The P301L mutation did not influence the ability of murine tau to associate with membranes in cortical neurons or in adult mouse brain. We conclude that P301L tau is associated with mitochondrial changes and causes an early reduction in murine tau phosphorylation in neurons coupled with impaired microtubule binding of tau. These results support the association of mutant tau with detrimental effects on mitochondria and will be of significance for the pathogenesis of tauopathies.

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Neurobiology of disease, 85, 1095-953X, 1-10, 2015

PMID: 26459111


Open Access

Structure and flexibility of the endosomal Vps34 complex reveals the basis of its function on membranes.
Rostislavleva K, Soler N, Ohashi Y, Zhang L, Pardon E, Burke JE, Masson GR, Johnson C, Steyaert J, Ktistakis NT, Williams RL

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Vps34 complexes regulate intracellular membrane trafficking in endocytic sorting, cytokinesis, and autophagy. We present the 4.4 angstrom crystal structure of the 385-kilodalton endosomal complex II (PIK3C3-CII), consisting of Vps34, Vps15 (p150), Vps30/Atg6 (Beclin 1), and Vps38 (UVRAG). The subunits form a Y-shaped complex, centered on the Vps34 C2 domain. Vps34 and Vps15 intertwine in one arm, where the Vps15 kinase domain engages the Vps34 activation loop to regulate its activity. Vps30 and Vps38 form the other arm that brackets the Vps15/Vps34 heterodimer, suggesting a path for complex assembly. We used hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to reveal conformational changes accompanying membrane binding and identify a Vps30 loop that is critical for the ability of complex II to phosphorylate giant liposomes on which complex I is inactive.

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Science (New York, N.Y.), 350, 1095-9203, aac7365, 2015

PMID: 26450213


Purification, characterization and crystallization of the F-ATPase from Paracoccus denitrificans.
Morales-Rios E, Watt IN, Zhang Q, Ding S, Fearnley IM, Montgomery MG, Wakelam MJ, Walker JE

The structures of F-ATPases have been determined predominantly with mitochondrial enzymes, but hitherto no F-ATPase has been crystallized intact. A high-resolution model of the bovine enzyme built up from separate sub-structures determined by X-ray crystallography contains about 85% of the entire complex, but it lacks a crucial region that provides a transmembrane proton pathway involved in the generation of the rotary mechanism that drives the synthesis of ATP. Here the isolation, characterization and crystallization of an integral F-ATPase complex from the α-proteobacterium Paracoccus denitrificans are described. Unlike many eubacterial F-ATPases, which can both synthesize and hydrolyse ATP, the P. denitrificans enzyme can only carry out the synthetic reaction. The mechanism of inhibition of its ATP hydrolytic activity involves a ζ inhibitor protein, which binds to the catalytic F1-domain of the enzyme. The complex that has been crystallized, and the crystals themselves, contain the nine core proteins of the complete F-ATPase complex plus the ζ inhibitor protein. The formation of crystals depends upon the presence of bound bacterial cardiolipin and phospholipid molecules; when they were removed, the complex failed to crystallize. The experiments open the way to an atomic structure of an F-ATPase complex.

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Open biology, 5, 2046-2441, , 2015

PMID: 26423580


Direct Induction of Trophoblast Stem Cells from Murine Fibroblasts.
Kubaczka C, Senner CE, Cierlitza M, Araúzo-Bravo MJ, Kuckenberg P, Peitz M, Hemberger M, Schorle H

Trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) arise from the first cell fate decision in the developing embryo and generate extra-embryonic lineages, giving rise to the fetal portion of the placenta. Mouse embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages are strictly separated by a distinct epigenetic barrier, which is not fully overcome following expression of TSC-determining factors in embryonic stem cells. Here, we show that transient expression of Tfap2c, Gata3, Eomes, and Ets2 is sufficient to reprogram mouse embryonic fibroblasts and post-natal tail-tip-derived fibroblasts into induced TSCs (iTSCs) and surmount the epigenetic barrier separating somatic from extra-embryonic lineages. iTSCs share nearly identical morphological characteristics, gene expression profiles, and DNA methylation patterns with blastocyst-derived TSCs. Furthermore, iTSCs display transgene-independent self-renewal, differentiate along extra-embryonic lineages, and chimerize host placentas following blastocyst injection. These findings provide insights into the transcription factor networks governing TSC identity and opportunities for studying the epigenetic barriers underlying embryonic and extra-embryonic lineage segregation.

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Cell stem cell, 17, 1875-9777, 557-68, 2015

PMID: 26412560


Deep sequencing and de novo assembly of the mouse oocyte transcriptome define the contribution of transcription to the DNA methylation landscape.
Veselovska L, Smallwood SA, Saadeh H, Stewart KR, Krueger F, Maupetit-Méhouas S, Arnaud P, Tomizawa SI, Andrews S, Kelsey G

Previously, a role was demonstrated for transcription in the acquisition of DNA methylation at imprinted control regions in oocytes. Definition of the oocyte DNA methylome by whole genome approaches revealed that the majority of methylated CpG islands are intragenic and gene bodies are hypermethylated. Yet, the mechanisms by which transcription regulates DNA methylation in oocytes remain unclear. Here, we systematically test the link between transcription and the methylome.

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Genome biology, 16, 1474-760X, 209, 0

PMID: 26408185


Open Access

MEK1 and MEK2 inhibitors and cancer therapy: the long and winding road.
Caunt CJ, Sale MJ, Smith PD, Cook SJ

The role of the ERK signalling pathway in cancer is thought to be most prominent in tumours in which mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinases RAS, BRAF, CRAF, MEK1 or MEK2 drive growth factor-independent ERK1 and ERK2 activation and thence inappropriate cell proliferation and survival. New drugs that inhibit RAF or MEK1 and MEK2 have recently been approved or are currently undergoing late-stage clinical evaluation. In this Review, we consider the ERK pathway, focusing particularly on the role of MEK1 and MEK2, the 'gatekeepers' of ERK1/2 activity. We discuss their validation as drug targets, the merits of targeting MEK1 and MEK2 versus BRAF and the mechanisms of action of different inhibitors of MEK1 and MEK2. We also consider how some of the systems-level properties (intrapathway regulatory loops and wider signalling network connections) of the ERK pathway present a challenge for the success of MEK1 and MEK2 inhibitors, discuss mechanisms of resistance to these inhibitors, and review their clinical progress.

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Nature reviews. Cancer, 15, 1474-1768, 577-92, 2015

PMID: 26399658


ACF chromatin-remodeling complex mediates stress-induced depressive-like behavior.
Sun H, Damez-Werno DM, Scobie KN, Shao NY, Dias C, Rabkin J, Koo JW, Korb E, Bagot RC, Ahn FH, Cahill ME, Labonté B, Mouzon E, Heller EA, Cates H, Golden SA, Gleason K, Russo SJ, Andrews S, Neve R, Kennedy PJ, Maze I, Dietz DM, Allis CD, Turecki G, Varga-Weisz P, Tamminga C, Shen L, Nestler EJ

Improved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) remains elusive because of the limited understanding of its underlying biological mechanisms. It is likely that stress-induced maladaptive transcriptional regulation in limbic neural circuits contributes to the development of MDD, possibly through epigenetic factors that regulate chromatin structure. We establish that persistent upregulation of the ACF (ATP-utilizing chromatin assembly and remodeling factor) ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex, occurring in the nucleus accumbens of stress-susceptible mice and depressed humans, is necessary for stress-induced depressive-like behaviors. We found that altered ACF binding after chronic stress was correlated with altered nucleosome positioning, particularly around the transcription start sites of affected genes. These alterations in ACF binding and nucleosome positioning were associated with repressed expression of genes implicated in susceptibility to stress. Together, our findings identify the ACF chromatin-remodeling complex as a critical component in the development of susceptibility to depression and in regulating stress-related behaviors.

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Nature medicine, , 1546-170X, , 2015

PMID: 26390241


PI3K Signaling in Normal B Cells and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).
Okkenhaug K, Burger JA

B cells provide immunity to extracellular pathogens by secreting a diverse repertoire of antibodies with high affinity and specificity for exposed antigens. The B cell receptor (BCR ) is a transmembrane antibody, which facilitates the clonal selection of B cells producing secreted antibodies of the same specificity. The diverse antibody repertoire is generated by V(D)J recombination of heavy and light chain genes, whereas affinity maturation is mediated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID)-mediated mutagenesis. These processes, which are essential for the generation of adaptive humoral immunity, also render B cells susceptible to chromosomal rearrangements and point mutations that in some cases lead to cancer. In this chapter, we will review the central role of PI3K s in mediating signals from the B cell receptor that not only facilitate the development of functional B cell repertoire, but also support the growth and survival of neoplastic B cells, focusing on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL ) B cells. Perhaps because of the central role played by PI3K in BCR signaling, B cell leukemia and lymphomas are the first diseases for which a PI3K inhibitor has been approved for clinical use.

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Current topics in microbiology and immunology, 393, 0070-217X, 123-42, 2016

PMID: 26350103


Open Access

Identification of DYRK1B as a substrate of ERK1/2 and characterisation of the kinase activity of DYRK1B mutants from cancer and metabolic syndrome.
Ashford AL, Dunkley TP, Cockerill M, Rowlinson RA, Baak LM, Gallo R, Balmanno K, Goodwin LM, Ward RA, Lochhead PA, Guichard S, Hudson K, Cook SJ

The dual-specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase, DYRK1B, is expressed de novo during myogenesis, amplified or mutated in certain cancers and mutated in familial cases of metabolic syndrome. DYRK1B is activated by cis auto-phosphorylation on tyrosine-273 (Y273) within the activation loop during translation but few other DYRK1B phosphorylation sites have been characterised to date. Here, we demonstrate that DYRK1B also undergoes trans-autophosphorylation on serine-421 (S421) in vitro and in cells and that this site contributes to DYRK1B kinase activity. Whilst a DYRK1B(S421A) mutant was completely defective for p-S421 in cells, DYRK1B inhibitors caused only a partial loss of p-S421 suggesting the existence of an additional kinase that could also phosphorylate DYRK1B S421. Indeed, a catalytically inactive DYRK1B(D239A) mutant exhibited very low levels of p-S421 in cells but this was increased by KRAS(G12V). In addition, selective activation of the RAF-MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling pathway rapidly increased p-S421 in cells whereas activation of the stress kinases JNK or p38 could not. S421 resides within a Ser-Pro phosphoacceptor motif that is typical for ERK1/2 and recombinant ERK2 phosphorylated DYRK1B at S421 in vitro. Our results show that DYRK1B is a novel ERK2 substrate, uncovering new links between two kinases involved in cell fate decisions. Finally, we show that DYRK1B mutants that have recently been described in cancer and metabolic syndrome exhibit normal or reduced intrinsic kinase activity.

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Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, , 1420-9071, , 2015

PMID: 26346493


Open Access

A novel phosphate-starvation response in fission yeast requires the endocytic function of Myosin I.
Petrini E, Baillet V, Cridge J, Hogan CJ, Guillaume C, Ke H, Brandetti E, Walker S, Koohy H, Spivakov M, Varga-Weisz P

Endocytosis is essential for uptake of many substances into the cell, but how it links to nutritional signalling is poorly understood. Here we show a novel role for endocytosis in regulating the response to low phosphate in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Loss of function of Myo1, Sla2/End4 or Arp2, proteins involved in the early steps of endocytosis, led to increased proliferation in low phosphate media compared to controls. We show that once cells are deprived of phosphate they undergo a quiescence response that is dependent on the endocytic function of Myo1. Transcriptomic analysis revealed a wide perturbation of gene expression with induction of stress-regulated genes upon phosphate starvation in wildtype but not Δmyo1 cells. Thus, endocytosis plays a pivotal role in mediating the cellular response to nutrients, bridging the external environment and internal molecular functions of the cell.

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Journal of cell science, , 1477-9137, , 2015

PMID: 26345368


Open Access

Cell cycle progression is an essential regulatory component of phospholipid metabolism and membrane homeostasis.
Sanchez-Alvarez M, Zhang Q, Finger F, Wakelam MJ, Bakal C

We show that phospholipid anabolism does not occur uniformly during the metazoan cell cycle. Transition to S-phase is required for optimal mobilization of lipid precursors, synthesis of specific phospholipid species and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis. Average changes observed in whole-cell phospholipid composition, and total ER lipid content, upon stimulation of cell growth can be explained by the cell cycle distribution of the population. TORC1 promotes phospholipid anabolism by slowing S/G2 progression. The cell cycle stage-specific nature of lipid biogenesis is dependent on p53. We propose that coupling lipid metabolism to cell cycle progression is a means by which cells have evolved to coordinate proliferation with cell and organelle growth.

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Open biology, 5, 2046-2441, , 2015

PMID: 26333836


Open Access

Polycomb repressive complex PRC1 spatially constrains the mouse embryonic stem cell genome.
Schoenfelder S, Sugar R, Dimond A, Javierre BM, Armstrong H, Mifsud B, Dimitrova E, Matheson L, Tavares-Cadete F, Furlan-Magaril M, Segonds-Pichon A, Jurkowski W, Wingett SW, Tabbada K, Andrews S, Herman B, LeProust E, Osborne CS, Koseki H, Fraser P, Luscombe NM, Elderkin S

The Polycomb repressive complexes PRC1 and PRC2 maintain embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency by silencing lineage-specifying developmental regulator genes. Emerging evidence suggests that Polycomb complexes act through controlling spatial genome organization. We show that PRC1 functions as a master regulator of mouse ESC genome architecture by organizing genes in three-dimensional interaction networks. The strongest spatial network is composed of the four Hox gene clusters and early developmental transcription factor genes, the majority of which contact poised enhancers. Removal of Polycomb repression leads to disruption of promoter-promoter contacts in the Hox gene network. In contrast, promoter-enhancer contacts are maintained in the absence of Polycomb repression, with accompanying widespread acquisition of active chromatin signatures at network enhancers and pronounced transcriptional upregulation of network genes. Thus, PRC1 physically constrains developmental transcription factor genes and their enhancers in a silenced but poised spatial network. We propose that the selective release of genes from this spatial network underlies cell fate specification during early embryonic development.

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Nature genetics, , 1546-1718, , 2015

PMID: 26323060


Open Access

Editorial: Lipid Signaling in T Cell Development and Function.
Sauer K, Okkenhaug K

Frontiers in immunology, 6, 1664-3224, 410, 2015

PMID: 26322043


Open Access

Three Dimensional Organization of the Nucleus: adding DNA sequences to the big picture.
Gilbert DM, Fraser P

Genome biology, 16, 1474-760X, 181, 2015

PMID: 26319739


Open Access

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related overgrowth: cellular phenotype and future therapeutic options.
Parker VE, Knox RG, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJ, Semple RK

Somatic activating mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110α catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) are frequently found in cancers and have been identified in a spectrum of mosaic overgrowth disorders ranging from isolated digit enlargement to more extensive overgrowth of the body, brain, or vasculature. We aimed to study affected dermal fibroblasts with a view to inform therapeutic studies, and to observe cancer-associated mutations in isolation.

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Lancet (London, England), 385 Suppl 1, 1474-547X, S77, 2015

PMID: 26312899


PI3Kδ Regulates the Magnitude of CD8+ T Cell Responses after Challenge with Listeria monocytogenes.
Pearce VQ, Bouabe H, MacQueen AR, Carbonaro V, Okkenhaug K

PI3Ks regulate diverse immune cell functions by transmitting intracellular signals from Ag, costimulatory receptors, and cytokine receptors to control cell division, differentiation, survival, and migration. In this study, we report the effect of inhibiting the p110δ subunit of PI3Kδ on CD8(+) T cell responses to infection with the intracellular bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. A strong dependency on PI3Kδ for IFN-γ production by CD8(+) T cells in vitro was not recapitulated after Listeria infection in vivo. Inactivation of PI3Kδ resulted in enhanced bacterial elimination by the innate immune system. However, the magnitudes of the primary and secondary CD8 +: T cell responses were reduced. Moreover, PI3Kδ activity was required for CD8(+) T cells to provide help to other responding CD8(+) cells. These findings identify PI3Kδ as a key regulator of CD8(+) T cell responses that integrates extrinsic cues, including those from other responding cells, to determine the collective behavior of CD8(+) T cell populations responding to infection.

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Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), , 1550-6606, , 2015

PMID: 26311905


Open Access

Comparison of Hi-C results using in-solution versus in-nucleus ligation.
Nagano T, Várnai C, Schoenfelder S, Javierre BM, Wingett SW, Fraser P

Chromosome conformation capture and various derivative methods such as 4C, 5C and Hi-C have emerged as standard tools to analyze the three-dimensional organization of the genome in the nucleus. These methods employ ligation of diluted cross-linked chromatin complexes, intended to favor proximity-dependent, intra-complex ligation. During development of single-cell Hi-C, we devised an alternative Hi-C protocol with ligation in preserved nuclei rather than in solution. Here we directly compare Hi-C methods employing in-nucleus ligation with the standard in-solution ligation.

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Genome biology, 16, 1474-760X, 175, 2015

PMID: 26306623


Open Access

Phosphatidylinositolphosphate Phosphatase Activities and Cancer.
Rudge SA, Wakelam MJ

Signalling through the PI3kinases pathways mediates the actions of a plethora of hormones, growth factors, cytokines and neurotransmitters upon their target cells following receptor occupation. Over-activation of these pathways has been implicated in a number of pathologies in particular a range of malignancies. The tight regulation of signalling pathways necessitates the involvement of both stimulatory a terminating enzymes, inappropriate activation of a pathway can thus result from activation or inhibition of the two signalling arms. A range of enzymes have been identified that catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides, this review outlines these and highlights those that have been implicated in promoting malignancy.

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Journal of lipid research, , 0022-2275, , 2015

PMID: 26302980


Cowden's syndrome with immunodeficiency.
Browning MJ, Chandra A, Carbonaro V, Okkenhaug K, Barwell J

Cowden's syndrome is a rare, autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gene. It is associated with hamartomatous polyposis of the gastrointestinal tract, mucocutaneous lesions and increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. In addition to increased risk of tumour development, mutations in PTEN have also been associated with autoimmunity in both mice and humans. Until now, however, an association between Cowden's syndrome and immune deficiency has been reported in a single patient only.

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Journal of medical genetics, 52, 1468-6244, 856-9, 2015

PMID: 26246517


Open Access

Fgf and Esrrb integrate epigenetic and transcriptional networks that regulate self-renewal of trophoblast stem cells.
Latos PA, Goncalves A, Oxley D, Mohammed H, Turro E, Hemberger M

Esrrb (oestrogen-related receptor beta) is a transcription factor implicated in embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal, yet its knockout causes intrauterine lethality due to defects in trophoblast development. Here we show that in trophoblast stem (TS) cells, Esrrb is a downstream target of fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signalling and is critical to drive TS cell self-renewal. In contrast to its occupancy of pluripotency-associated loci in ES cells, Esrrb sustains the stemness of TS cells by direct binding and regulation of TS cell-specific transcription factors including Elf5 and Eomes. To elucidate the mechanisms whereby Esrrb controls the expression of its targets, we characterized its TS cell-specific interactome using mass spectrometry. Unlike in ES cells, Esrrb interacts in TS cells with the histone demethylase Lsd1 and with the RNA Polymerase II-associated Integrator complex. Our findings provide new insights into both the general and context-dependent wiring of transcription factor networks in stem cells by master transcription factors.

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Nature communications, 6, 2041-1723, 7776, 2015

PMID: 26206133


Open Access

Chromatin organization in pluripotent cells: emerging approaches to study and disrupt function.
Lopes Novo C, Rugg-Gunn PJ

Translating the vast amounts of genomic and epigenomic information accumulated on the linear genome into three-dimensional models of nuclear organization is a current major challenge. In response to this challenge, recent technological innovations based on chromosome conformation capture methods in combination with increasingly powerful functional approaches have revealed exciting insights into key aspects of genome regulation. These findings have led to an emerging model where the genome is folded and compartmentalized into highly conserved topological domains that are further divided into functional subdomains containing physical loops that bring cis-regulatory elements to close proximity. Targeted functional experiments, largely based on designable DNA-binding proteins, have begun to define the major architectural proteins required to establish and maintain appropriate genome regulation. Here, we focus on the accessible and well-characterized system of pluripotent cells to review the functional role of chromatin organization in regulating pluripotency, differentiation and reprogramming.

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Briefings in functional genomics, , 2041-2657, , 2015

PMID: 26206085


Open Access

Regulation of ribosomal DNA amplification by the TOR pathway.
Jack CV, Cruz C, Hull RM, Keller MA, Ralser M, Houseley J

Repeated regions are widespread in eukaryotic genomes, and key functional elements such as the ribosomal DNA tend to be formed of high copy repeated sequences organized in tandem arrays. In general, high copy repeats are remarkably stable, but a number of organisms display rapid ribosomal DNA amplification at specific times or under specific conditions. Here we demonstrate that target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling stimulates ribosomal DNA amplification in budding yeast, linking external nutrient availability to ribosomal DNA copy number. We show that ribosomal DNA amplification is regulated by three histone deacetylases: Sir2, Hst3, and Hst4. These enzymes control homologous recombination-dependent and nonhomologous recombination-dependent amplification pathways that act in concert to mediate rapid, directional ribosomal DNA copy number change. Amplification is completely repressed by rapamycin, an inhibitor of the nutrient-responsive TOR pathway; this effect is separable from growth rate and is mediated directly through Sir2, Hst3, and Hst4. Caloric restriction is known to up-regulate expression of nicotinamidase Pnc1, an enzyme that enhances Sir2, Hst3, and Hst4 activity. In contrast, normal glucose concentrations stretch the ribosome synthesis capacity of cells with low ribosomal DNA copy number, and we find that these cells show a previously unrecognized transcriptional response to caloric excess by reducing PNC1 expression. PNC1 down-regulation forms a key element in the control of ribosomal DNA amplification as overexpression of PNC1 substantially reduces ribosomal DNA amplification rate. Our results reveal how a signaling pathway can orchestrate specific genome changes and demonstrate that the copy number of repetitive DNA can be altered to suit environmental conditions.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 1091-6490, 9674-9, 2015

PMID: 26195783


Open Access