When, where and which PIK3CA mutations are pathogenic in congenital disordersNature Cardiovascular Research 8 Aug 2022, 2022 . Epub 8 Aug 2022
PIK3CA encodes the class I PI3Kα isoform and is frequently mutated in cancer. Activating mutations in PIK3CA also cause a range of congenital disorders featuring asymmetric tissue overgrowth, known as the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS), with frequent vascular involvement. In PROS, PIK3CA mutations arise postzygotically, during embryonic development, leading to a mosaic body pattern distribution resulting in a variety of phenotypic features. A clear skewed pattern of overgrowth favoring some mesoderm-derived and ectoderm-derived tissues is observed but not understood. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the determinants of PIK3CA-related pathogenesis in PROS, including intrinsic factors such as cell lineage susceptibility and PIK3CA variant bias, and extrinsic factors, which refers to environmental modifiers. We also include a section on PIK3CA-related vascular malformations given that the vasculature is frequently affected in PROS. Increasing our biological understanding of PIK3CA mutations in PROS will contribute toward unraveling the onset and progression of these conditions and ultimately impact on their treatment. Given that PIK3CA mutations are similar in PROS and cancer, deeper insights into one will also inform about the other.
Targeting the EIF2AK1 signaling pathway rescues red blood cell production in SF3B1-mutant myelodysplastic syndromes with ringed sideroblasts.Blood Cancer Discov 4 Aug 2022, . Epub 4 Aug 2022
SF3B1 mutations, which occur in 20% of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), are the hallmarks of a specific MDS subtype, MDS with ringed sideroblasts (MDS-RS), which is characterized by the accumulation of erythroid precursors in the bone marrow and primarily affects the elderly population. Here, using single-cell technologies and functional validation studies of primary SF3B1-mutant MDS-RS samples, we show that SF3B1 mutations lead to the activation of the EIF2AK1 pathway in response to heme deficiency and that targeting this pathway rescues aberrant erythroid differentiation and enables the red blood cell maturation of MDS-RS erythroblasts. These data support the development of EIF2AK1 inhibitors to overcome transfusion dependency in patients with SF3B1-mutant MDS-RS with impaired red blood cell production.More information
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia necessitates GSH-dependent ferroptosis defenses to overcome FSP1-epigenetic silencingRedox Biology 31 Jul 2022, 2022 (102408) 2213-2317. Epub 31 Jul 2022
Ferroptosis is a form of cell death triggered by phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) generated from the iron-dependent oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). To prevent ferroptosis, cells rely on the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which serves as cofactor of the glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) for the neutralization of PLOOHs. Some cancer cells can also limit ferroptosis through a GSH-independent axis, centered mainly on the ferroptosis suppressor protein 1 (FSP1). The significance of these two anti-ferroptosis pathways is still poorly understood in cancers from hematopoietic origin. Here, we report that blood-derived cancer cells are selectively sensitive to compounds that block the GSH-dependent anti-ferroptosis axis. In T and B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines and patient biopsies, the promoter of the gene coding for FSP1 is hypermethylated, silencing the expression of FSP1 and creating a selective dependency on GSH-centered anti-ferroptosis defenses. In-trans expression of FSP1 increases the resistance of leukemic cells to compounds targeting the GSH-dependent anti-ferroptosis pathway. FSP1 over-expression also favors ALL-tumor growth in an in vivo chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. Hence, our results reveal a metabolic vulnerability of ALL that might be of therapeutic interest.
The HDAC7-TET2 epigenetic axis is essential during early B lymphocyte development.Nucleic Acids Res 29 Jul 2022, . Epub 29 Jul 2022
Correct B cell identity at each stage of cellular differentiation during B lymphocyte development is critically dependent on a tightly controlled epigenomic landscape. We previously identified HDAC7 as an essential regulator of early B cell development and its absence leads to a drastic block at the pro-B to pre-B cell transition. More recently, we demonstrated that HDAC7 loss in pro-B-ALL in infants associates with a worse prognosis. Here we delineate the molecular mechanisms by which HDAC7 modulates early B cell development. We find that HDAC7 deficiency drives global chromatin de-condensation, histone marks deposition and deregulates other epigenetic regulators and mobile elements. Specifically, the absence of HDAC7 induces TET2 expression, which promotes DNA 5-hydroxymethylation and chromatin de-condensation. HDAC7 deficiency also results in the aberrant expression of microRNAs and LINE-1 transposable elements. These findings shed light on the mechanisms by which HDAC7 loss or misregulation may lead to B cell-based hematological malignancies.More information
Cohesin couples transcriptional bursting probabilities of inducible enhancers and promoters.Nat Commun 27 Jul 2022, 13 (1) 4342. Epub 27 Jul 2022
Innate immune responses rely on inducible gene expression programmes which, in contrast to steady-state transcription, are highly dependent on cohesin. Here we address transcriptional parameters underlying this cohesin-dependence by single-molecule RNA-FISH and single-cell RNA-sequencing. We show that inducible innate immune genes are regulated predominantly by an increase in the probability of active transcription, and that probabilities of enhancer and promoter transcription are coordinated. Cohesin has no major impact on the fraction of transcribed inducible enhancers, or the number of mature mRNAs produced per transcribing cell. Cohesin is, however, required for coupling the probabilities of enhancer and promoter transcription. Enhancer-promoter coupling may not be explained by spatial proximity alone, and at the model locus Il12b can be disrupted by selective inhibition of the cohesinopathy-associated BET bromodomain BD2. Our data identify discrete steps in enhancer-mediated inducible gene expression that differ in cohesin-dependence, and suggest that cohesin and BD2 may act on shared pathways.More information