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ItemAnalysis of differentiation capacity of Cfp1 null embyronic stem cells(2014) Bowen, Tamara R.; Skalnik, David Gordon; Marrs, James; Chang, Hua-ChenEpigenetics is defined as “the study of stable, often heritable, changes that influence gene expression that are not mediated by DNA sequence” (Fingerman et al., 2013). Epigenetic marks such as covalent histone modifications and DNA methylation are important for maintaining chromatin structure and epigenetic inheritance. Several proteins have been found to bind and/ or regulate epigenetic marks. One such protein, CXXC finger protein 1 (Cfp1) is an important chromatin regulator that binds to unmethylated CpG islands. It has been found to be essential for mammalian development. Mice lacking Cfp1 exhibit an embryonic- lethal phenotype. However, the function of Cfp1 can be studied using Cfp1 Null mouse ES cells, which are viable. Thus far, Cfp1 has been shown to be important for cell growth, cytosine methylation, histone modifications, subnuclear localization of Set1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase, and cellular differentiation. When Cfp1 Null ES cells are induced to differentiate by removal of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF), the cells are not able to turn off pluripotency markers such as Oct4 and alkaline phosphatase and fail to express differentiation markers such as Gata4 and Brachyury. In this study, we used established protocols to further examine the differentiation capacity of Cfp1 Null cells. Specifically, we tested the ability of Cfp1 Null ES cells to retain stem cell properties in the absence of LIF, differentiate into cardiomyocytes in the presence of TGF-β2 and differentiate into neuron precursors in the presence of retinoic acid (RA). While the differentiation effects of RA were inconclusive, Null cells were able to start differentiating in the absence of LIF, either as individual cells or EBs, and the presence of TGF-β2 when seeded on gelatin coated tissue culture dishes. However, no difference was seen between cells treated without LIF and those treated with TGF-β2. In both conditions, only a small portion of cells were able to differentiate, while the majority of the cell population retained stem cell characteristics. Cell growth and the differentiation capacity of Cfp1 Null cells were also compromised in comparison to WT cells. Thus, further supporting the need for the correct epigenetic patterns maintained by Cfp1 during cellular differentiation. ItemAsparagine starvation suppresses histone demethylation through iron depletion(Elsevier, 2023-03-16) Jiang, Jie; Srivastava, Sankalp; Liu, Sheng; Seim, Gretchen; Claude, Rodney; Zhong, Minghua; Cao, Sha; Davé, Utpal; Kapur, Reuben; Mosley, Amber L.; Zhang, Chi; Wan, Jun; Fan, Jing; Zhang, Ji; Pediatrics, School of MedicineIntracellular α-ketoglutarate is an indispensable substrate for the Jumonji family of histone demethylases (JHDMs) mediating most of the histone demethylation reactions. Since α-ketoglutarate is an intermediate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and a product of transamination, its availability is governed by the metabolism of several amino acids. Here, we show that asparagine starvation suppresses global histone demethylation. This process is neither due to the change of expression of histone-modifying enzymes nor due to the change of intracellular levels of α-ketoglutarate. Rather, asparagine starvation reduces the intracellular pool of labile iron, a key co-factor for the JHDMs to function. Mechanistically, asparagine starvation suppresses the expression of the transferrin receptor to limit iron uptake. Furthermore, iron supplementation to the culture medium restores histone demethylation and alters gene expression to accelerate cell death upon asparagine depletion. These results suggest that suppressing iron-dependent histone demethylation is part of the cellular adaptive response to asparagine starvation. ItemAssociation of peripheral blood DNA methylation level with Alzheimer’s disease progression(BMC, 2021-10-15) Li, Qingqin S.; Vasanthakumar, Aparna; Davis, Justin W.; Idler, Kenneth B.; Nho, Kwangsik; Waring, Jeffrey F.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Radiology and Imaging Sciences, School of MedicineBackground: Identifying biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression may enable patient enrichment and improve clinical trial designs. Epigenome-wide association studies have revealed correlations between DNA methylation at cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites and AD pathology and diagnosis. Here, we report relationships between peripheral blood DNA methylation profiles measured using Infinium® MethylationEPIC BeadChip and AD progression in participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort. Results: The rate of cognitive decline from initial DNA sampling visit to subsequent visits was estimated by the slopes of the modified Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (mPACC; mPACCdigit and mPACCtrailsB) and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) plots using robust linear regression in cognitively normal (CN) participants and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), respectively. In addition, diagnosis conversion status was assessed using a dichotomized endpoint. Two CpG sites were significantly associated with the slope of mPACC in CN participants (P < 5.79 × 10-8 [Bonferroni correction threshold]); cg00386386 was associated with the slope of mPACCdigit, and cg09422696 annotated to RP11-661A12.5 was associated with the slope of CDR-SB. No significant CpG sites associated with diagnosis conversion status were identified. Genes involved in cognition and learning were enriched. A total of 19, 13, and 5 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) associated with the slopes of mPACCtrailsB, mPACCdigit, and CDR-SB, respectively, were identified by both comb-p and DMRcate algorithms; these included DMRs annotated to HOXA4. Furthermore, 5 and 19 DMRs were associated with conversion status in CN and MCI participants, respectively. The most significant DMR was annotated to the AD-associated gene PM20D1 (chr1: 205,818,956 to 205,820,014 [13 probes], Sidak-corrected P = 7.74 × 10-24), which was associated with both the slope of CDR-SB and the MCI conversion status. Conclusion: Candidate CpG sites and regions in peripheral blood were identified as associated with the rate of cognitive decline in participants in the ADNI cohort. While we did not identify a single CpG site with sufficient clinical utility to be used by itself due to the observed effect size, a biosignature composed of DNA methylation changes may have utility as a prognostic biomarker for AD progression. ItemBromodomains in Protozoan Parasites: Evolution, Function, and Opportunities for Drug Development(American Society for Microbiology, 2017-01-11) Jeffers, Victoria; Yang, Chunlin; Huang, Sherri; Sullivan, William J., Jr.; Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of MedicineParasitic infections remain one of the most pressing global health concerns of our day, affecting billions of people and producing unsustainable economic burdens. The rise of drug-resistant parasites has created an urgent need to study their biology in hopes of uncovering new potential drug targets. It has been established that disrupting gene expression by interfering with lysine acetylation is detrimental to survival of apicomplexan (Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp.) and kinetoplastid (Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp.) parasites. As "readers" of lysine acetylation, bromodomain proteins have emerged as key gene expression regulators and a promising new class of drug target. Here we review recent studies that demonstrate the essential roles played by bromodomain-containing proteins in parasite viability, invasion, and stage switching and present work showing the efficacy of bromodomain inhibitors as novel antiparasitic agents. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of bromodomain proteins in representative pathogens, some of which possess unique features that may be specific to parasite processes and useful in future drug development. ItemCanonical histone H2Ba and H2A.X dimerize in an opposite genomic localization to H2A.Z/H2B.Z dimers in Toxoplasma gondii(Elsevier, 2014-10) Bogado, Silvina S.; Dalmasso, Carolina; Ganuza, Agustina; Kim, Kami; Sullivan Jr., William J.; Angel, Sergio O.; Vanagas, Laura; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of MedicineHistone H2Ba of Toxoplasma gondii was expressed as recombinant protein (rH2Ba) and used to generate antibody in mouse that is highly specific. Antibody recognizing rH2Ba detects a single band in tachyzoite lysate of the expected molecular weight (12kDa). By indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) in in vitro grown tachyzoites and bradyzoites, the signal was detected only in the parasite nucleus. The nucleosome composition of H2Ba was determined through co-immunoprecipitation assays. H2Ba was detected in the same immunocomplex as H2A.X, but not with H2A.Z. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays and qPCR, it was observed that H2Ba is preferentially located at promoters of inactive genes and silent regions, accompanying H2A.X and opposed to H2A.Z/H2B.Z dimers. ItemCFP1 governs uterine epigenetic landscapes to intervene in progesterone responses for uterine physiology and suppression of endometriosis(Springer Nature, 2023-06-03) Yang, Seung Chel; Park, Mira; Hong, Kwon-Ho; La, Hyeonwoo; Park, Chanhyeok; Wang, Peike; Li, Gaizhen; Chen, Qionghua; Choi, Youngsok; DeMayo, Francesco J.; Lydon, John P.; Skalnik, David G.; Lim, Hyunjung J.; Hong, Seok-Ho; Park, So Hee; Kim, Yeon Sun; Kim, Hye-Ryun; Song, Haengseok; Biology, School of ScienceProgesterone (P4) is required for the preparation of the endometrium for a successful pregnancy. P4 resistance is a leading cause of the pathogenesis of endometrial disorders like endometriosis, often leading to infertility; however, the underlying epigenetic cause remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that CFP1, a regulator of H3K4me3, is required for maintaining epigenetic landscapes of P4-progesterone receptor (PGR) signaling networks in the mouse uterus. Cfp1f/f;Pgr-Cre (Cfp1d/d) mice showed impaired P4 responses, leading to complete failure of embryo implantation. mRNA and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing analyses showed that CFP1 regulates uterine mRNA profiles not only in H3K4me3-dependent but also in H3K4me3-independent manners. CFP1 directly regulates important P4 response genes, including Gata2, Sox17, and Ihh, which activate smoothened signaling pathway in the uterus. In a mouse model of endometriosis, Cfp1d/d ectopic lesions showed P4 resistance, which was rescued by a smoothened agonist. In human endometriosis, CFP1 was significantly downregulated, and expression levels between CFP1 and these P4 targets are positively related regardless of PGR levels. In brief, our study provides that CFP1 intervenes in the P4-epigenome-transcriptome networks for uterine receptivity for embryo implantation and the pathogenesis of endometriosis. ItemCharacterization of protein arginine methyltransferase of TgPRMT5 in Toxoplasma gondii(Springer Nature, 2019-05-08) Liu, Min; Li, Fen-Xiang; Li, Chun-Yuan; Li, Xiao-Cong; Chen, Long-Fei; Wu, Kun; Yang, Pei-Liang; Lai, Zhi-Fa; Liu, Ting-kai; Sullivan, William J.; Cui, Liwang; Chen, Xiao-Guang; Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of MedicineBACKGROUND: Protein arginine methylation is a prevalent post-translational modification. The protein arginine methyltransferase family (PRMT) is involved in many cellular processes in eukaryotes, including transcriptional regulation, epigenetic regulation, RNA metabolism, and DNA damage repair. Toxoplasma gondii, an opportunistic protozoan parasite, encodes five conserved PRMTs. PRMT5 is thought to be responsible for substantial PRMT activity in T. gondii; however, it has not yet been characterized. METHODS: We tagged the 3' end of the endogenous TgPRMT5 genomic locus with sequence encoding a 3X hemagglutinin (HA) epitope. IFA and WB were performed to check the expression and subcellular localization of TgPRMT5 in tachyzoites and bradyzoites. In vitro methylation assays were performed to determine whether endogenous TgPRMT5 has arginine methyltransferase activity. RESULTS: IFA and WB results showed that T. gondii PRMT5 (TgPRMT5) was localized in the cytoplasm in the tachyzoite stage; however, it shifts largely to the nuclear compartment in the bradyzoite stage. The in vitro methylation showed that TgPRMT5 has authentic type II PRMT activity and forms monomethylarginines and symmetric dimethylarginines. CONCLUSIONS: We determined the expression and cellular localization of TgPRMT5 in tachyzoites and bradyzoites and confirmed its type II PRMT activity. We demonstrated the major changes in expression and cellular localization of TgPRMT5 during the tachyzoite and bradyzoite stages in T. gondii. Our findings suggest that TgPRMT5 protein may be involved in tachyzoite-bradyzoite transformation. ItemCombinatorial Inhibition of Epigenetic Regulators to Treat Glioblastoma(2022-07-29) Burket, Noah; Koenig, Jenna; Saratsis, AmandaGlioblastoma (GBM) is a deadly primary brain cancer that affects 12,000 patients in the US annually with a median survival time of 15 months. Temozolomide is the standard-of-care chemotherapy for GBM; however, many tumors are resistant, necessitating the expansion of therapeutic options. EZH2 and JMJD3 are two proteins responsible for epigenetic regulation of the genome via histone methylation, with EZH2 also affecting non-histone targets. Prior studies showed that inhibition of these proteins decreased cell counts and induced radiosensitivity in GBM cells. Thus, we investigated combined use of EZH2 inhibitor, EPZ6438, and JMJD3 inhibitor, GSK-J4, in the treatment of temozolomide-resistant GBM10 cells. Non-irradiated cells were treated with both drugs singly and combined, and counted at 24-, 48-, and 72-hour intervals. Irradiated cells were pre-treated with each drug and combination therapy for three days, irradiated, and then counted at 24-, 48-, and 72-hour intervals. Western blot was used to investigate dsDNA damage biomarker y-H2AX, gene-silencing modification H3K27me3, tumor suppressor p53, EZH2, and JMJD3 expression in non-irradiated and irradiated cells following drug treatment. Single EPZ-6438 and GSK-J4 treatments reduced cell counts with increasing concentration and time. GSK-J4 appears to reduce cell counts more than EPZ-6438 alone, and combinatorial use reduces this further. Western blot reveals increased H3K27me3 expression with GSK-J4 treatment following radiation, but not with EPZ-6438. y-H2AX expression is increased after EPZ-6438 treatment but is not further increased with radiation. Meanwhile, GSK-J4 increased y-H2AX, but only after irradiation. Reduced cell counts following treatment with GSK-J4 may be due to its effects on gene silencing from inhibition of H3K27 demethylation. Additionally, increased dsDNA breaks seen in EPZ-6438 and GSK-J4 supports their roles in radiosensitizing GBM cells. This study highlights the importance of further investigation into GSK-J4 and EPZ-6438 combination therapy in temozolomide-resistant GBM tumors. ItemCombined heterozygosity of FLT3 ITD, TET2, and DNMT3A results in aggressive leukemia(The American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2022-09-08) Ramdas, Baskar; Reddy, Palam Lakshmi; Mali, Raghuveer Singh; Pasupuleti, Santhosh Kumar; Zhang, Ji; Kelley, Mark R.; Paczesny, Sophie; Zhang, Chi; Kapur, Reuben; Pediatrics, School of MedicineHeterozygous mutations in FLT3ITD, TET2, and DNMT3A are associated with hematologic malignancies in humans. In patients, cooccurrence of mutations in FLT3ITD combined with TET2 (TF) or FLT3ITD combined with DNMT3A (DF) are frequent. However, in some rare complex acute myeloid leukemia (AML), all 3 mutations cooccur - i.e., FLT3ITD, TET2, and DNMT3A (TFD). Whether the presence of these mutations in combination result in quantitative or qualitative differences in disease manifestation has not been investigated. We generated mice expressing heterozygous Flt3ITD and concomitant for either heterozygous loss of Tet2 (TF) or Dnmt3a (DF) or both (TFD). TF and DF mice did not induce disease early on, in spite of similar changes in gene expression; during the same time frame, an aggressive form of transplantable leukemia was observed in TFD mice, which was mostly associated with quantitative but not qualitative differences in gene expression relative to TF or DF mice. The gene expression signature of TFD mice showed remarkable similarity to the human TFD gene signature at the single-cell RNA level. Importantly, TFD-driven AML responded to a combination of drugs that target Flt3ITD, inflammation, and methylation in a mouse model, as well as in a PDX model of AML bearing 3 mutations. ItemA comprehensive analysis of normal variation and disease-causing mutations in the human DSPP gene(Wiley, 2008-12) McKnight, Dianalee A.; Hart, P. Suzanne; Hart, Thomas C.; Hartsfield, James K.; Wilson, Anne; Wright, J. Timothy; Fisher, Larry W.; Orthodontics and Oral Facial Genetics, School of DentistryWithin nine dentin dysplasia (DD) (type II) and dentinogenesis imperfecta (type II and III) patient/families, seven have 1 of 4 net -1 deletions within the approximately 2-kb coding repeat domain of the DSPP gene while the remaining two patients have splice-site mutations. All frameshift mutations are predicted to change the highly soluble DSPP protein into proteins with long hydrophobic amino acid repeats that could interfere with processing of normal DSPP and/or other secreted matrix proteins. We propose that all previously reported missense, nonsense, and splice-site DSPP mutations (all associated with exons 2 and 3) result in dominant phenotypes due to disruption of signal peptide-processing and/or related biochemical events that also result in interference with protein processing. This would bring the currently known dominant forms of the human disease phenotype in agreement with the normal phenotype of the heterozygous null Dspp (-/+) mice. A study of 188 normal human chromosomes revealed a hypervariable DSPP repeat domain with extraordinary rates of change including 20 slip-replication indel events and 37 predominantly C-to-T transition SNPs. The most frequent transition in the primordial 9-basepair (bp) DNA repeat was a sense-strand CpG site while a CpNpG (CAG) transition was the second most frequent SNP. Bisulfite-sequencing of genomic DNA showed that the DSPP repeat can be methylated at both motifs. This suggests that, like plants and some animals, humans methylate some CpNpG sequences. Analysis of 37 haplotypes of the highly variable DSPP gene from geographically diverse people suggests it may be a useful autosomal marker in human migration studies.