Different melanoma subtypes exhibit specific and non-overlapping sets of oncogene and tumor suppressor mutations, despite a common cell of origin in melanocytes. For example, activation of the Gαq/11 signaling pathway is a characteristic initiating event in primary melanomas that arise in the dermis, uveal tract or central nervous system. It is rare in melanomas arising in the epidermis. The mechanism for this specificity is unknown. Here, we present evidence that in the mouse, crosstalk with the epidermal microenvironment actively impairs the survival of melanocytes expressing the GNAQQ209L oncogene. We found that GNAQQ209L, in combination with signaling from the interfollicular epidermis (IFE), stimulates dendrite extension, leads to actin cytoskeleton disorganization, inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis in melanocytes. The effect was reversible and paracrine. In contrast, the epidermal environment increased the survival of wildtype and BrafV600E expressing melanocytes. Hence, our studies reveal the flip side of Gaq/11 signaling, which was hitherto unsuspected. In the future, the identification of the epidermal signals that restrain the GNAQQ209L oncogene could suggest novel therapies for GNAQ and GNA11 mutant melanomas.
Sequencing data has been deposited at the Sequencing Read Archive (SRA) of the NCBI under BioProjectID PRJNA736153.The custom MATLAB scripts have been deposited to GitHub at https://github.com/Tanentzapf-Lab/ActinOrganization_CellMorphology_Haage.All other data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Catherine D Van Raamsdonk
- Guy Tanentzapf
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal research was conducted under the approval of the University of British Columbia Animal Care Committee (Protocols A18-0080 and A19-0148, C.D.V.R.).
- William C Hahn, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, United States
© 2021, Urtatiz et al.
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.
The transformation of normal to malignant cells is accompanied by substantial changes in gene expression programs through diverse mechanisms. Here, we examined the changes in the landscape of transcription start sites and alternative promoter (AP) usage and their impact on the translatome in TCL1-driven chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Our findings revealed a marked elevation of APs in CLL B cells from Eµ-Tcl1 transgenic mice, which are particularly enriched with intra-genic promoters that generate N-terminally truncated or modified proteins. Intra-genic promoter activation is mediated by (1) loss of function of ‘closed chromatin’ epigenetic regulators due to the generation of inactive N-terminally modified isoforms or reduced expression; (2) upregulation of transcription factors, including c-Myc, targeting the intra-genic promoters and their associated enhancers. Exogenous expression of Tcl1 in MEFs is sufficient to induce intra-genic promoters of epigenetic regulators and promote c-Myc expression. We further found a dramatic translation downregulation of transcripts bearing CNY cap-proximal trinucleotides, reminiscent of cells undergoing metabolic stress. These findings uncovered the role of Tcl1 oncogenic function in altering promoter usage and mRNA translation in leukemogenesis.
The median-effect equation has been widely used to describe the dose-response relationship and identify compounds that activate or inhibit specific disease targets in contemporary drug discovery. However, the experimental data often contain extreme responses, which may significantly impair the estimation accuracy and impede valid quantitative assessment in the standard estimation procedure. To improve the quantitative estimation of the dose-response relationship, we introduce a novel approach based on robust beta regression. Substantive simulation studies under various scenarios demonstrate solid evidence that the proposed approach consistently provides robust estimation for the median-effect equation, particularly when there are extreme outcome observations. Moreover, simulation studies illustrate that the proposed approach also provides a narrower confidence interval, suggesting a higher power in statistical testing. Finally, to efficiently and conveniently perform common lab data analyses, we develop a freely accessible web-based analytic tool to facilitate the quantitative implementation of the proposed approach for the scientific community.