Martins-Ferreira R, Leal B, Chaves J, Ciudad L, Samões R, Martins da Silva A, Pinho Costa P, Ballestar E
Circulating cell-free DNA methylation mirrors alterations in cerebral patterns in epilepsy.
Clin Epigenetics28 Dec 2022, 14(1)188. Epub 28 Dec 2022
DNA methylation profiling of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has rapidly become a promising strategy for biomarker identification and development. The cell-type-specific nature of DNA methylation patterns and the direct relationship between cfDNA and apoptosis can potentially be used non-invasively to predict local alterations. In addition, direct detection of altered DNA methylation patterns performs well as a biomarker. In a previous study, we demonstrated marked DNA methylation alterations in brain tissue from patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS).
We performed DNA methylation profiling in cfDNA isolated from the serum of MTLE patients and healthy controls using BeadChip arrays followed by systematic bioinformatic analysis including deconvolution analysis and integration with DNase accessibility data sets. Differential cfDNA methylation analysis showed an overrepresentation of gene ontology terms and transcription factors related to central nervous system function and regulation. Deconvolution analysis of the DNA methylation data sets ruled out the possibility that the observed differences were due to changes in the proportional contribution of cortical neurons in cfDNA. Moreover, we found no overrepresentation of neuron- or glia-specific patterns in the described cfDNA methylation patterns. However, the MTLE–HS cfDNA methylation patterns featured a significant overrepresentation of the epileptic DNA methylation alterations previously observed in the hippocampus.
Our results support the use of cfDNA methylation profiling as a rational approach to seeking non-invasive and reproducible epilepsy biomarkers.
Godoy-Tena G, Barmada A, Morante-Palacios O, de la Calle-Fabregat C, Martins-Ferreira R, Ferreté-Bonastre AG, Ciudad L, Ruiz-Sanmartín A, Martínez-Gallo M, Ferrer R, Ruiz-Rodriguez JC, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Vento-Tormo R, Ballestar E
Epigenetic and transcriptomic reprogramming in monocytes of severe COVID-19 patients reflects alterations in myeloid differentiation and the influence of inflammatory cytokines.
Genome Med29 Nov 2022, 14(1)134. Epub 29 Nov 2022
COVID-19 manifests with a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes, ranging from asymptomatic and mild to severe and critical. Severe and critical COVID-19 patients are characterized by marked changes in the myeloid compartment, especially monocytes. However, little is known about the epigenetic alterations that occur in these cells during hyperinflammatory responses in severe COVID-19 patients.
Morante-Palacios O, Godoy-Tena G, Calafell-Segura J, Ciudad L, Martínez-Cáceres EM, Sardina JL, Ballestar E
Vitamin C enhances NF-κB-driven epigenomic reprogramming and boosts the immunogenic properties of dendritic cells.
Nucleic Acids Res28 Oct 2022, . Epub 28 Oct 2022
Dendritic cells (DCs), the most potent antigen-presenting cells, are necessary for effective activation of naïve T cells. DCs' immunological properties are modulated in response to various stimuli. Active DNA demethylation is crucial for DC differentiation and function. Vitamin C, a known cofactor of ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes, drives active demethylation. Vitamin C has recently emerged as a promising adjuvant for several types of cancer; however, its effects on human immune cells are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the epigenomic and transcriptomic reprogramming orchestrated by vitamin C in monocyte-derived DC differentiation and maturation. Vitamin C triggers extensive demethylation at NF-κB/p65 binding sites, together with concordant upregulation of antigen-presentation and immune response-related genes during DC maturation. p65 interacts with TET2 and mediates the aforementioned vitamin C-mediated changes, as demonstrated by pharmacological inhibition. Moreover, vitamin C increases TNFβ production in DCs through NF-κB, in concordance with the upregulation of its coding gene and the demethylation of adjacent CpGs. Finally, vitamin C enhances DC's ability to stimulate the proliferation of autologous antigen-specific T cells. We propose that vitamin C could potentially improve monocyte-derived DC-based cell therapies.
Estupiñán-Moreno E, Ortiz-Fernández L, Li T, Hernández-Rodríguez J, Ciudad L, Andrés-León E, Terron-Camero LC, Prieto-González S, Espígol-Frigolé G, Cid MC, Márquez A, Ballestar E, Martín J
Methylome and transcriptome profiling of giant cell arteritis monocytes reveals novel pathways involved in disease pathogenesis and molecular response to glucocorticoids.
Ann Rheum Dis15 Jun 2022, . Epub 15 Jun 2022
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a complex systemic vasculitis mediated by the interplay between both genetic and epigenetic factors. Monocytes are crucial players of the inflammation occurring in GCA. Therefore, characterisation of the monocyte methylome and transcriptome in GCA would be helpful to better understand disease pathogenesis.
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), the most prevalent symptomatic primary immunodeficiency, displays impaired terminal B-cell differentiation and defective antibody responses. Incomplete genetic penetrance and ample phenotypic expressivity in CVID suggest the participation of additional pathogenic mechanisms. Monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for CVID are uniquely valuable for studying the contribution of epigenetics to the disease. Here, we generate a single-cell epigenomics and transcriptomics census of naïve-to-memory B cell differentiation in a CVID-discordant MZ twin pair. Our analysis identifies DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility and transcriptional defects in memory B-cells mirroring defective cell-cell communication upon activation. These findings are validated in a cohort of CVID patients and healthy donors. Our findings provide a comprehensive multi-omics map of alterations in naïve-to-memory B-cell transition in CVID and indicate links between the epigenome and immune cell cross-talk. Our resource, publicly available at the Human Cell Atlas, gives insight into future diagnosis and treatments of CVID patients.
de la Calle-Fabregat C, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Ciudad L, Ramírez J, Celis R, Azuaga AB, Cuervo A, Graell E, Pérez-García C, Díaz-Torné C, Salvador G, Gómez-Puerta JA, Haro I, Sanmartí R, Cañete JD, Ballestar E
The synovial and blood monocyte DNA methylomes mirror prognosis, evolution and treatment in early arthritis.
JCI Insight24 Mar 2022, . Epub 24 Mar 2022
Identifying predictive biomarkers at early stages of early inflammatory arthritis is crucial for starting appropriate therapies to avoid poor outcomes. Monocytes and macrophages, largely associated with arthritis, are contributors and sensors of inflammation through epigenetic modifications. In this study, we investigated associations between clinical features and DNA methylation in blood and synovial fluid (SF) monocytes in a prospective cohort of early inflammatory arthritis patients. Undifferentiated arthritis (UA) blood monocyte DNA methylation profiles exhibited significant alterations in comparison with those from healthy donors. We identified additional differences both in blood and SF monocytes after comparing UA patients grouped by their future outcomes, good versus poor. Patient profiles in subsequent visits revealed a reversion towards a healthy level in both groups, those requiring disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and those that remitted spontaneously. Changes in disease activity between visits also impacted DNA methylation, partially concomitant in the SF of UA and in blood monocytes of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Epigenetic similarities between arthritis types allow a common prediction of disease activity. Our results constitute a resource of DNA methylation-based biomarkers of poor prognosis, disease activity and treatment efficacy in early untreated UA patients for the personalized clinical management of early inflammatory arthritis patients.
Català-Moll F, Ferreté-Bonastre AG, Godoy-Tena G, Morante-Palacios O, Ciudad L, Barberà L, Fondelli F, Martínez-Cáceres EM, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Li T, Ballestar E
Vitamin D receptor, STAT3, and TET2 cooperate to establish tolerogenesis.
Cell Rep18 Jan 2022, 38(3)110244.
The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, induces a stable tolerogenic phenotype in dendritic cells (DCs). This process involves the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which translocates to the nucleus, binds its cognate genomic sites, and promotes epigenetic and transcriptional remodeling. In this study, we report the occurrence of vitamin D-specific DNA demethylation and transcriptional activation at VDR binding sites associated with the acquisition of tolerogenesis in vitro. Differentiation to tolerogenic DCs associates with activation of the IL-6-JAK-STAT3 pathway. We show that JAK2-mediated STAT3 phosphorylation is specific to vitamin D stimulation. VDR and the phosphorylated form of STAT3 interact with each other to form a complex with methylcytosine dioxygenase TET2. Most importantly, pharmacological inhibition of JAK2 reverts vitamin D-induced tolerogenic properties of DCs. This interplay among VDR, STAT3, and TET2 opens up possibilities for modulating DC immunogenic properties in clinics.
Morante-Palacios O, Lorente-Sorolla C, Ciudad L, Calafell-Segura J, Garcia-Gomez A, Català-Moll F, Ruiz-Sanmartín A, Martínez-Gallo M, Ferrer R, Ruiz-Rodriguez JC, Álvarez-Errico D, Ballestar E
JAK2-STAT Epigenetically Regulates Tolerized Genes in Monocytes in the First Encounter With Gram-Negative Bacterial Endotoxins in Sepsis
Front. Immunol. 12:734652. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.73465217 Nov 2021, . Epub 17 Nov 2021
Microbial challenges, such as widespread bacterial infection in sepsis, induce endotoxin tolerance, a state of hyporesponsiveness to subsequent infections. The participation of DNA methylation in this process is poorly known. In this study, we perform integrated analysis of DNA methylation and transcriptional changes following in vitro exposure to gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide, together with analysis of ex vivo monocytes from septic patients. We identify TET2-mediated demethylation and transcriptional activation of inflammation-related genes that is specific to toll-like receptor stimulation.
Changes also involve phosphorylation of STAT1, STAT3 and STAT5, elements of the JAK2 pathway. JAK2 pathway inhibition impairs the activation of tolerized genes on the first encounter with lipopolysaccharide. We then confirm the implication of the JAK2-STAT pathway in the aberrant DNA methylome of patients with sepsis caused by gram-negative bacteria. Finally, JAK2 inhibition in monocytes partially recapitulates the expression changes produced in the immunosuppressive cellular state acquired by monocytes from gram-negative sepsis, as described by single cell-RNA-sequencing. Our study evidences both the crucial role the JAK2-STAT pathway in epigenetic regulation and initial response of the tolerized genes to gram-negative bacterial endotoxins and provides a pharmacological target to prevent exacerbated responses.
Antonio Garcia-Gomez, Tianlu Li, Carlos de la Calle-Fabregat, Javier Rodríguez-Ubreva, Laura Ciudad, Francesc Català-Moll, Gerard Godoy-Tena, Montserrat Martín-Sánchez, Laura San-Segundo, Sandra Muntión, Xabier Morales, Carlos Ortiz-de-Solórzano, Julen Oyarzabal, Edurne San José-Enériz, Manel Esteller, Xabier Agirre, Felipe Prosper, Mercedes Garayoa, Esteban Ballestar
Targeting aberrant DNA methylation in mesenchymal stromal cells as a treatment for myeloma bone disease
Nat Commun 12, 421 (2021)18 Jan 2021, .
Multiple myeloma (MM) progression and myeloma-associated bone disease (MBD) are highly dependent on bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). MM-MSCs exhibit abnormal transcriptomes, suggesting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms governing their tumor-promoting functions and prolonged osteoblast suppression. Here, we identify widespread DNA methylation alterations of bone marrow-isolated MSCs from distinct MM stages, particularly in Homeobox genes involved in osteogenic differentiation that associate with their aberrant expression. Moreover, these DNA methylation changes are recapitulated in vitro by exposing MSCs from healthy individuals to MM cells. Pharmacological targeting of DNMTs and G9a with dual inhibitor CM-272 reverts the expression of hypermethylated osteogenic regulators and promotes osteoblast differentiation of myeloma MSCs. Most importantly, CM-272 treatment prevents tumor-associated bone loss and reduces tumor burden in a murine myeloma model. Our results demonstrate that epigenetic aberrancies mediate the impairment of bone formation in MM, and its targeting by CM-272 is able to reverse MBD.
Massoni-Badosa R, Iacono G, Moutinho C, Kulis M, Palau N, Marchese D, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Ballestar E, Rodriguez-Esteban G, Marsal S, Aymerich M, Colomer D, Campo E, Julià A, Martín-Subero JI, Heyn H
Sampling time-dependent artifacts in single-cell genomics studies.
Genome Biol.11 May 2020, 21(1)112. Epub 11 May 2020
Robust protocols and automation now enable large-scale single-cell RNA and ATAC sequencing experiments and their application on biobank and clinical cohorts. However, technical biases introduced during sample acquisition can hinder solid, reproducible results, and a systematic benchmarking is required before entering large-scale data production. Here, we report the existence and extent of gene expression and chromatin accessibility artifacts introduced during sampling and identify experimental and computational solutions for their prevention.