Research publications

Found 47 publicacions matching the indicated search criteria.
Garcia-Prieto CA, Villanueva L, Bueno-Costa A, Davalos V, González-Navarro EA, Juan M, Urbano-Ispizua Á, Delgado J, Ortíz-Maldonado V, Del Bufalo F, Locatelli F, Quintarelli C, Sinibaldi M, Soler M, Castro de Moura M, Ferrer G, Urdinguio RG, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF, Bar D, Meir A, Itzhaki O, Besser MJ, Avigdor A, Jacoby E, Esteller M

Epigenetic Profiling and Response to CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy in B-Cell Malignancies.

J Natl Cancer Inst 28 Sep 2021, . Epub 28 Sep 2021
Background: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells directed against CD19 (CART19) are effective in B-cell malignancies, but little is known about the molecular factors predicting clinical outcome of CART19 therapy. The increasingly recognized relevance of epigenetic changes in cancer immunology prompted us to determine the impact of the DNA methylation profiles of CART19 cells on the clinical course. Methods: We recruited 114 patients with B-cell malignancies, comprising 77 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 37 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients, who were treated with CART19 cells. Using a comprehensive DNA methylation microarray, we determined the epigenomic changes that occur in the patient T-cells upon transduction of the CAR vector. The effects of the identified DNA methylation sites on clinical response, cytokine release syndrome (CRS), immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed. All statistical tests were 2-sided. Results: We identified 984 genomic sites with differential DNA methylation between CAR-untransduced and CAR-transduced T-cells before infusion into the patient. Eighteen of these distinct epigenetic loci were associated with complete response (CR) adjusting by multiple testing. Using the sites linked to CR, the EPICART signature was established in the initial discovery cohort (n = 79), which was associated with CR (Fisher's exact test, P<.001) and enhanced EFS (HR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.70, P=.002; log-rank P=.003) and OS (HR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.20 to 0.99, P=.047; log-rank P=.04;). Most important the EPICART profile maintained its clinical course predictive value in the validation cohort (n = 35) where it was associated with CR (Fisher's exact test, P<.001) and enhanced OS (HR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.84, P=.02; log-rank P=.02). Conclusions: We show that the DNA methylation landscape of patient CART19 cells influences the efficacy of the cellular immunotherapy treatment in patients with B-cell malignancy.
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Ribeiro ML, Reyes-Garau D, Vinyoles M, Profitos-Peleja N, Santos JC, Armengol M, Fernández-Serrano M, Sedo Mor A, Bech-Serra JJ, Blecua P, Musulen E, De La Torre C, Miskin HP, Esteller M, Bosch F, Menéndez P, Normant E, Roué G

Antitumor activity of the novel BTK inhibitor TG-1701 is associated with disruption of Ikaros signaling in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Clin Cancer Res 22 Sep 2021, . Epub 22 Sep 2021
Purpose: Despite the remarkable activity of BTK inhibitors (BTKi) in relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL), no clinically-relevant biomarker has been associated to these agents so far. The relevance of phosphoproteomic profiling for the early identification of BTKi responders remains underexplored. Experimental design: A set of six clinical samples from an ongoing phase 1 trial dosing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with TG-1701, a novel irreversible and highly specific BTKi, were characterized by phosphoproteomic and RNA-seq analysis. The activity of TG-1701 was evaluated in a panel of eleven B-NHL cell lines and mouse xenografts, including two NFκB- and BTKC481S-driven BTKi resistant models. Biomarker validation and signal transduction analysis were conducted through real-time PCR, western blot, immunostaining and gene knock-out (KO) experiments. Results: A non-supervised, phosphoproteomic-based clustering did match the early clinical outcomes of CLL patients and separated a group of "early-responders" from a group of "late-responders". This clustering was based on a selected list of 96 phosphosites with Ikaros-pSer442/445 as a potential biomarker for TG-1701 efficacy. TG-1701 treatment was further shown to blunt Ikaros gene signature, including YES1 and MYC, in early-responder patients as well as in BTKi-sensitive B-NHL cell lines and xenografts. In contrast, Ikaros nuclear activity and signaling remained unaffected by the drug in vitro and in vivo, in late-responder patients and in BTKC481S, BTKKO and non-canonical NFκB models. Conclusions: These data validate phosphoproteomic as a valuable tool for the early detection of response to BTK inhibition in the clinic, and for the determination of drug mechanism of action.
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Llabata P, Torres-Diz M, Gomez A, Tomas-Daza L, Romero OA, Grego-Bessa J, Llinas-Arias P, Valencia A, Esteller M, Javierre BM, Zhang X, Sanchez-Cespedes M

MAX mutant small-cell lung cancers exhibit impaired activities of MGA-dependent noncanonical polycomb repressive complex.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 14 Sep 2021, 118 (37) .
The MYC axis is disrupted in cancer, predominantly through activation of the MYC family oncogenes but also through inactivation of the MYC partner MAX or of the MAX partner MGA. MGA and MAX are also members of the polycomb repressive complex, ncPRC1.6. Here, we use genetically modified MAX-deficient small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells and carry out genome-wide and proteomics analyses to study the tumor suppressor function of MAX. We find that MAX mutant SCLCs have ASCL1 or NEUROD1 or combined ASCL1/NEUROD1 characteristics and lack MYC transcriptional activity. MAX restitution triggers prodifferentiation expression profiles that shift when MAX and oncogenic MYC are coexpressed. Although ncPRC1.6 can be formed, the lack of MAX restricts global MGA occupancy, selectively driving its recruitment toward E2F6-binding motifs. Conversely, MAX restitution enhances MGA occupancy to repress genes involved in different functions, including stem cell and DNA repair/replication. Collectively, these findings reveal that MAX mutant SCLCs have either ASCL1 or NEUROD1 or combined characteristics and are MYC independent and exhibit deficient ncPRC1.6-mediated gene repression.
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Rosa Hernández, Cristina Jiménez-Luna, Raúl Ortiz, Fernando Setién, Miguel López, Gloria Perazzoli, Manel Esteller, María Berdasco, Jose Prados, Consolación Melguizo

Impact of the Epigenetically Regulated Hoxa-5 Gene in Neural Differentiation from Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

Biology 2021, 10(8), 802 19 Aug 2021, .
Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) may be used in some nervous system pathologies, although obtaining an adequate degree of neuronal differentiation is an important barrier to their applicability. This requires a deep understanding of the expression and epigenetic changes of the most important genes involved in their differentiation. We used hASCs from human lipoaspirates to induce neuronal-like cells through three protocols (Neu1, 2, and 3), determined the degree of neuronal differentiation using specific biomarkers in culture cells and neurospheres, and analyzed epigenetic changes of genes involved in this differentiation. Furthermore, we selected the Hoxa-5 gene to determine its potential to improve neuronal differentiation. Our results showed that an excellent hASC neuronal differentiation process using Neu1 which efficiently modulated NES, CHAT, SNAP25, or SCN9A neuronal marker expression. In addition, epigenetic studies showed relevant changes in Hoxa-5, GRM4, FGFR1, RTEL1, METRN, and PAX9 genes. Functional studies of the Hoxa-5 gene using CRISPR/dCas9 and lentiviral systems showed that its overexpression induced hASCs neuronal differentiation that was accelerated with the exposure to Neu1. These results suggest that Hoxa-5 is an essential gene in hASCs neuronal differentiation and therefore, a potential candidate for the development of cell therapy strategies in neurological disorders.
David Ortega-Alarcon, Rafael Claveria-Gimeno, Sonia Vega, Olga C. Jorge-Torres, Manel Esteller, Olga Abian, Adrian Velazquez-Campoy

Stabilization Effect of Intrinsically Disordered Regions on Multidomain Proteins: The Case of the Methyl-CpG Protein 2, MeCP2

Biomolecules 2021, 11(8), 1216 16 Aug 2021, .
Intrinsic disorder plays an important functional role in proteins. Disordered regions are linked to posttranslational modifications, conformational switching, extra/intracellular trafficking, and allosteric control, among other phenomena. Disorder provides proteins with enhanced plasticity, resulting in a dynamic protein conformational/functional landscape, with well-structured and disordered regions displaying reciprocal, interdependent features. Although lacking well-defined conformation, disordered regions may affect the intrinsic stability and functional properties of ordered regions. MeCP2, methyl-CpG binding protein 2, is a multifunctional transcriptional regulator associated with neuronal development and maturation. MeCP2 multidomain structure makes it a prototype for multidomain, multifunctional, intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP). The methyl-binding domain (MBD) is one of the key domains in MeCP2, responsible for DNA recognition. It has been reported previously that the two disordered domains flanking MBD, the N-terminal domain (NTD) and the intervening domain (ID), increase the intrinsic stability of MBD against thermal denaturation. In order to prove unequivocally this stabilization effect, ruling out any artifactual result from monitoring the unfolding MBD with a local fluorescence probe (the single tryptophan in MBD) or from driving the protein unfolding by temperature, we have studied the MBD stability by differential scanning calorimetry (reporting on the global unfolding process) and chemical denaturation (altering intramolecular interactions by a different mechanism compared to thermal denaturation).
Patricia Garcia, Rita Fernandez-Hernandez, Ana Cuadrado, Ignacio Coca, Antonio Gomez, Maria Maqueda, Ana Latorre-Pellicer, Beatriz Puisac, Feliciano J. Ramos, Juan Sandoval, Esteller, Manel, Jose Luis Mosquera, Jairo Rodriguez, J. Pié, Ana Losada and Ethel Queralt

Disruption of NIPBL/Scc2 in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome provokes cohesin genome-wide redistribution with an impact in the transcriptome

Nature Communications 27 Jul 2021, 12, 4551 . Epub 27 Jul 2021
Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a rare disease affecting multiple organs and systems during development. Mutations in the cohesin loader, NIPBL/Scc2, were first described and are the most frequent in clinically diagnosed CdLS patients. The molecular mechanisms driving CdLS phenotypes are not understood. In addition to its canonical role in sister chromatid cohesion, cohesin is implicated in the spatial organization of the genome. Here, we investigate the transcriptome of CdLS patient-derived primary fibroblasts and observe the downregulation of genes involved in development and system skeletal organization, providing a link to the developmental alterations and limb abnormalities characteristic of CdLS patients. Genome-wide distribution studies demonstrate a global reduction of NIPBL at the NIPBL-associated high GC content regions in CdLS-derived cells. In addition, cohesin accumulates at NIPBL-occupied sites at CpG islands potentially due to reduced cohesin translocation along chromosomes, and fewer cohesin peaks colocalize with CTCF.
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Xavier Solanich, Gardenia Vargas-Parra, Caspar I. van der Made, Annet Simons, Janneke Schuurs-Hoeijmakers, Arnau Antolí, Jesús del Valle, Gemma Rocamora-Blanch, Fernando Setién, Esteller, Manel, Simon V. van Reijmersdal, Antoni Riera-Mestre, Joan Sabater-Riera, Gabriel Capellá, Frank L. van de Veerdonk, Ben van der Hoven, Xavier Corbella, Alexander Hoischen and Conxi Lázaro

Genetic Screening for TLR7 Variants in Young and Previously Healthy Men With Severe COVID-19

Front. Immunol 23 Jul 2021, 12 . Epub 23 Jul 2021
Introduction: Loss-of-function TLR7 variants have been recently reported in a small number of males to underlie strong predisposition to severe COVID-19. We aimed to determine the presence of these rare variants in young men with severe COVID-19. Methods: We prospectively studied males between 18 and 50 years-old without predisposing comorbidities that required at least high-flow nasal oxygen to treat COVID-19. The coding region of TLR7 was sequenced to assess the presence of potentially deleterious variants. Results: TLR7 missense variants were identified in two out of 14 patients (14.3%). Overall, the median age was 38 (IQR 30-45) years. Both variants were not previously reported in population control databases and were predicted to be damaging by in silico predictors. In a 30-year-old patient a maternally inherited variant [c.644A>G; p.(Asn215Ser)] was identified, co-segregating in his 27-year-old brother who also contracted severe COVID-19. A second variant [c.2797T>C; p.(Trp933Arg)] was found in a 28-year-old patient, co-segregating in his 24-year-old brother who developed mild COVID-19. Functional testing of this variant revealed decreased type I and II interferon responses in peripheral mononuclear blood cells upon stimulation with the TLR7 agonist imiquimod, confirming a loss-of-function effect. Conclusions: This study supports a rationale for the genetic screening for TLR7 variants in young men with severe COVID-19 in the absence of other relevant risk factors. A diagnosis of TLR7 deficiency could not only inform on treatment options for the patient, but also enables pre-symptomatic testing of at-risk male relatives with the possibility of instituting early preventive and therapeutic interventions.
Berdasco M, Esteller M

Towards a "druggable" epitranscriptome: Compounds that target RNA modifications in cancer.

Br J Pharmacol 29 Jun 2021, . Epub 29 Jun 2021
Epitranscriptomics is an exciting emerging area that studies biochemical modifications of RNA. The field is boosted by the technical efforts of the last decade to characterize and quantify RNA modifications which have led to a map of post-transcripcional RNA marks in normal cell fate and develoment. However, the scientific interest has been fueled by the discovery of aberrant epitranscriptomes associated with human diseases, mainly cancer. The challenge is now to see whether epitrancriptomics offers a tunable mechanims to be targeted by small- molecule intervention. In this review, we will describe the principal RNA modifications (with a focus on mRNA), summarize the latest scientific evidences of their dysregulation in cancer and provide an overview of the state-of-the-art drug discovery to target the epitranscriptome. Finally, we will discuss the principal challenges in the field of chemical biology and drug development to increase the potential of targeted-RNA for clinical benefit.
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Antonio Gómez, Miguel L. Pato, Luis Bujanda, Núria Sala, Osmel Companioni, Ángel Cosme, Martina Tufano, David J. Hanly, Nadia García, José Miguel Sanz-Anquela, Javier P. Gisbert, Consuelo López, José Ignacio Elizalde, Miriam Cuatrecasas, Victoria Andreu, María José Paules, María Dolores Martín-Arranz, Luis Ortega, Elvira Poves, Jesús Barrio, María Ángeles Torres, Guillermo Muñoz, Ángel Ferrández, María José Ramírez-Lázaro, Sergio Lario, Carlos A González, Manel Esteller, María Berdasco

Follow-Up Study Confirms the Presence of Gastric Cancer DNA Methylation Hallmarks in High-Risk Precursor Lesions

Cancers 2021, 13(11), 2760; 2 Jun 2021, .
To adopt prevention strategies in gastric cancer, it is imperative to develop robust biomarkers with acceptable costs and feasibility in clinical practice to stratified populations according to risk scores. With this aim, we applied an unbiased genome-wide CpG methylation approach to a discovery cohort composed of gastric cancer (n = 24), and non-malignant precursor lesions (n = 64). Then, candidate-methylation approaches were performed in a validation cohort of precursor lesions obtained from an observational longitudinal study (n = 264), with a 12-year follow-up to identify repression or progression cases. H. pylori stratification and histology were considered to determine their influence on the methylation dynamics. As a result, we ascertained that intestinal metaplasia partially recapitulates patterns of aberrant methylation of intestinal type of gastric cancer, independently of the H. pylori status. Two epigenetically regulated genes in cancer, RPRM and ZNF793, consistently showed increased methylation in intestinal metaplasia with respect to earlier precursor lesions. In summary, our result supports the need to investigate the practical utilities of the quantification of DNA methylation in candidate genes as a marker for disease progression. In addition, the H. pylori-dependent methylation in intestinal metaplasia suggests that pharmacological treatments aimed at H. pylori eradication in the late stages of precursor lesions do not prevent epigenome reprogramming toward a cancer signature.
Farre L, Sanz G, Ruiz-Xivillé N, Moura MC, Tejera JFM, Gonçalves-Ribeiro S, Martinez-Iniesta M, Calaf M, Mosquera JL, Martín-Subero JI, Granada I, Esteller M, Domingo-Domenech E, Climent F, Villanueva A, Sureda A

Extramedullary multiple myeloma patient derived orthotopic xenograft with high disturbed genome: combined exhaustive molecular and therapeutic studies.

Dis Model Mech 14 May 2021, .
Extramedullary multiple myeloma (EMM) has an overall survival of 6 months and occurs in 20% of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in EMM and the therapeutic role of new agents for MM are not well established. Besides, well characterized preclinical models for EMM are not available. Herein, a patient derived orthotopic xenograft (PDOX) was generated from a patient with an aggressive EMM to study in-depth genetic and epigenetic events and drug responses related to extramedullary disease. A fresh punch of an extramedullary cutaneous lesion was orthotopically implanted in NOD.Cg-PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ(NSG) mouse. The PDOX mimicked histologic and phenotypic features of patient's tumor. Cytogenetic studies revealed a hyperploid genome with multiple genetic poor-prognosis alterations. Copy number alterations were detected in all chromosomes. The IGH translocation t(14;16)(q32;q23)IGH/MAF were already observed at medullary stage and a new one, the t(10;14)(p?11-12;q32), were observed only at extramedullary disease and could be eventually related to EMM progression in this case. Exome sequencing showed 24 high impact SNV and 180 indels. From the genes involved, only TP53 was previously described as a driver in MM. A rather balanced proportion of hyper/hypomethylated sites different to previously reported widespread hypomethylation in MM was also observed. Treatment with lenalidomide, dexamethasone and carfilzomib showed a tumor weight reduction of 90% vs. non-treated tumors while the anti-CD38 antibody Daratumumab showed a reduction of 46%. The generation of PDOX from small EMM biopsy allowed to go in-deep to the molecular events associated to extramedullary disease in combination with drug testing.
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