Small molecule inhibitors of site-specific O-glycosylation by the polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (ppGalNAc-T) family are currently unavailable but hold promise as therapeutics, especially if selective against individual ppGalNAc-T isozymes. To identify a compound targeting the ppGalNAc-T3 isozyme, we screened libraries to find compounds that act on a cell-based fluorescence sensor of ppGalNAc-T3 but not on a sensor of ppGalNAc-T2. This identified a hit that subsequent in vitro analysis showed directly binds and inhibits purified ppGalNAc-T3 with no detectable activity against either ppGalNAc-T2 or ppGalNAc-T6. Remarkably, the inhibitor was active in two medically relevant contexts. In cell culture, it opposed increased cancer cell invasiveness driven by upregulated ppGalNAc-T3 suggesting the inhibitor might be anti-metastatic. In cells and mice, it blocked ppGalNAc-T3-mediated glycan-masking of FGF23 thereby increasing its cleavage, a possible treatment of chronic kidney disease. These findings establish a pharmacological approach for the ppGalNAc-transferase family and suggest that targeting specific ppGalNAc-transferases will yield new therapeutics.
- Adam Linstedt
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Protocols, handling, and care of the mice conformed to protocols approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Carnegie Mellon University.(CMU IACUC protocol AS16-005).
- Christopher G Burd, Yale School of Medicine, United States
© 2017, Song & Linstedt
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
How cells control gene expression is a fundamental question. The relative contribution of protein-level and RNA-level regulation to this process remains unclear. Here, we perform a proteogenomic analysis of tumors and untransformed cells containing somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs). By revealing how cells regulate RNA and protein abundances of genes with SCNAs, we provide insights into the rules of gene regulation. Protein complex genes have a strong protein-level regulation while non-complex genes have a strong RNA-level regulation. Notable exceptions are plasma membrane protein complex genes, which show a weak protein-level regulation and a stronger RNA-level regulation. Strikingly, we find a strong negative association between the degree of RNA-level and protein-level regulation across genes and cellular pathways. Moreover, genes participating in the same pathway show a similar degree of RNA- and protein-level regulation. Pathways including translation, splicing, RNA processing, and mitochondrial function show a stronger protein-level regulation while cell adhesion and migration pathways show a stronger RNA-level regulation. These results suggest that the evolution of gene regulation is shaped by functional constraints and that many cellular pathways tend to evolve one predominant mechanism of gene regulation at the protein level or at the RNA level.
Aberrant DNA methylation is a well‑known feature of tumours and has been associated with metastatic melanoma. However, since melanoma cells are highly heterogeneous, it has been challenging to use affected genes to predict tumour aggressiveness, metastatic evolution, and patients' outcomes. We hypothesized that common aggressive hypermethylation signatures should emerge early in tumorigenesis and should be shared in aggressive cells, independent of the physiological context under which this trait arises. We compared paired melanoma cell lines with the following properties: (i) each pair comprises one aggressive counterpart and its parental cell line, and (ii) the aggressive cell lines were each obtained from different host and their environment (human, rat, and mouse), though starting from the same parent cell line. Next, we developed a multi-step genomic pipeline that combines the DNA methylome profile with a chromosome cluster-oriented analysis. A total of 229 differentially hypermethylated genes were commonly found in the aggressive cell lines. Genome localization analysis revealed hypermethylation peaks and clusters, identifying eight hypermethylated gene promoters for validation in tissues from melanoma patients. Five CpG identified in primary melanoma tissues were transformed into a DNA methylation score that can predict survival (Log-rank test, p=0.0008). This strategy is potentially universally applicable to other diseases involving DNA methylation alterations.