Research publications

Found 9 publicacions matching the indicated search criteria.
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.
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.
Cossío FP, Esteller M, Berdasco M

Towards a more precise therapy in cancer: Exploring epigenetic complexity.

Curr Opin Chem Biol 29 May 2020, 57 41-49. Epub 29 May 2020
A plethora of preclinical evidences suggests that pharmacological targeting of epigenetic dysregulation is a potent strategy to combat human diseases. Nevertheless, the implementation of epidrugs in clinical practice is very scarce and mainly limited to haematological malignancies. In this review, we discuss cutting-edge strategies to foster the chemical design, the biological rationale and the clinical trial development of epidrugs. Specifically, we focus on the development of dual hybrids to exploit multitargeting of key epigenetic molecules deregulated in cancer; the study of epigenetic-synthetic lethality interactions as a mechanism to address loss-of-function mutations, and the combination of epidrugs with other therapies such as immunotherapy to avoid acquired chemoresistance and increase therapy sensitivity. By exploring these challenges, among others, the field of epigenetic chemical biology will increase its potential for clinical benefit, and more effective strategies targeting the aberrant epigenome in cancer are likely to be developed both in haematological and solid tumours.
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Berdasco M, Esteller M

Clinical Epigenetics: seizing opportunities for translation

Nature Reviews Genetics, 2019. 20(2):109-127. , .
Biomarker discovery and validation are necessary for improving the prediction of clinical outcomes and patient monitoring. Despite considerable interest in biomarker discovery and development, improvements in the range and quality of biomarkers are still needed. The main challenge is how to integrate preclinical data to obtain a reliable biomarker that can be measured with acceptable costs in routine clinical practice. Epigenetic alterations are already being incorporated as valuable candidates in the biomarker field. Furthermore, their reversible nature offers a promising opportunity to ameliorate disease symptoms by using epigenetic-based therapy. Thus, beyond helping to understand disease biology, clinical epigenetics is being incorporated into patient management in oncology, as well as being explored for clinical applicability for other human pathologies such as neurological and infectious diseases and immune system disorders.
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Ganesan A, Arimondo PB, Rots MG, Jeronimo C, Berdasco M

The timeline of epigenetic drug discovery: from reality to dreams

Clinical Epigenetics 2019, 11(1):174. , .
he flexibility of the epigenome has generated an enticing argument to explore its reversion through pharmacological treatments as a strategy to ameliorate disease phenotypes. All three families of epigenetic proteins-readers, writers, and erasers-are druggable targets that can be addressed through small-molecule inhibitors. At present, a few drugs targeting epigenetic enzymes as well as analogues of epigenetic modifications have been introduced into the clinic use (e.g. to treat haematological malignancies), and a wide range of epigenetic-based drugs are undergoing clinical trials. Here, we describe the timeline of epigenetic drug discovery and development beginning with the early design based solely on phenotypic observations to the state-of-the-art rational epigenetic drug discovery using validated targets. Finally, we will highlight some of the major aspects that need further research and discuss the challenges that need to be overcome to implement epigenetic drug discovery into clinical management of human disorders. To turn into reality, researchers from various disciplines (chemists, biologists, clinicians) need to work together to optimise the drug engineering, read-out assays, and clinical trial design.
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Oriol-Tordera B, Berdasco M, Llano A, Mothe B, Gálvez C, Martinez-Picado J, Carrillo J, Blanco J, Duran-Castells C, Ganoza C, Sanchez J, Clotet B, Calle ML, Sánchez-Pla A, Esteller M, Brander C, Ruiz-Riol M

Methylation regulation of Antiviral host factors, Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs) and T-cell responses associated with natural HIV control

PLOS Pathogens 2020, 16(8):e1008678. , .
GWAS, immune analyses and biomarker screenings have identified host factors associated with in vivo HIV-1 control. However, there is a gap in the knowledge about the mechanisms that regulate the expression of such host factors. Here, we aimed to assess DNA methylation impact on host genome in natural HIV-1 control. To this end, whole DNA methylome in 70 untreated HIV-1 infected individuals with either high (>50,000 HIV-1-RNA copies/ml, n = 29) or low (<10,000 HIV-1-RNA copies/ml, n = 41) plasma viral load (pVL) levels were compared and identified 2,649 differentially methylated positions (DMPs). Of these, a classification random forest model selected 55 DMPs that correlated with virologic (pVL and proviral levels) and HIV-1 specific adaptive immunity parameters (IFNg-T cell responses and neutralizing antibodies capacity). Then, cluster and functional analyses identified two DMP clusters: cluster 1 contained hypo-methylated genes involved in antiviral and interferon response (e.g. PARP9, MX1, and USP18) in individuals with high viral loads while in cluster 2, genes related to T follicular helper cell (Tfh) commitment (e.g. CXCR5 and TCF7) were hyper-methylated in the same group of individuals with uncontrolled infection. For selected genes, mRNA levels negatively correlated with DNA methylation, confirming an epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Further, these gene expression signatures were also confirmed in early and chronic stages of infection, including untreated, cART treated and elite controllers HIV-1 infected individuals (n = 37). These data provide the first evidence that host genes critically involved in immune control of the virus are under methylation regulation in HIV-1 infection. These insights may offer new opportunities to identify novel mechanisms of in vivo virus control and may prove crucial for the development of future therapeutic interventions aimed at HIV-1 cure.
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Moron-Lopez S, Urrea V, Dalmau J, Lopez M, Puertas MC, Ouchi D, Gómez A, Passaes C, Mothe B, Brander C, Saez-Cirion A, Clotet B, Esteller M, Berdasco M, Martinez-Picado J

The genome-wide methylation profile of CD4+ T cells from HIV-infected individuals identifies distinct patterns associated with disease progression

Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2020, Jul 26:ciaa1047 , .
Background: Human genetic variation-mostly in the HLA and CCR5 regions-explains 25% of the variability in progression of HIV infection. However, it is also known that viral infections can modify cellular DNA methylation patterns. Therefore, changes in the methylation of CpG islands might modulate progression of HIV infection. Methods: 85 samples were analyzed: 21 elite controllers (EC), 21 HIV-infected subjects before combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) (viremic, 93,325 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml) and under suppressive cART (cART, median of 17 months, <50 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml), and 22 HIV-negative donors (HIVneg). We analyzed the methylation pattern of 485,577 CpG in DNA from peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes. We selected the most differentially methylated gene (TNF) and analyzed its specific methylation, mRNA expression, and plasma protein levels in 5 individuals before and after initiation of cART. Results: We observed 129 methylated CpG sites (associated with 43 gene promoters) for which statistically significant differences were recorded in viremic vs HIVneg, 162 CpG sites (55 gene promoters) in viremic vs cART, 441 CpG sites (163 gene promoters) in viremic vs EC, but none in EC vs HIVneg. The TNF promoter region was hypermethylated in viremic vs HIVneg, cART, and EC. Moreover, we observed greater plasma levels of TNF in viremic individuals than in EC, cART, and HIVneg. Conclusions: Our study shows that genome methylation patterns vary depending on HIV infection status and progression profile and that these variations might have an impact on controlling HIV infection in the absence of cART.
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Díez-Villanueva A, Sanz-Pamplona R, Carreras-Torres R, Moratalla-Navarro F, Alonso MH, Paré-Brunet L, Aussó S, Guinó E, Solé X, Cordero D, Salazar R, Berdasco M, Peinado MA, Moreno V

DNA methylation events in transcription factors and gene expression changes in colon cancer

Epigenomics, 2020 Sep 22 , .
Aim: Gain insight about the role of DNA methylation in the malignant growth of colon cancer. Patients & methods: Methylation and gene expression from 90 adjacent-tumor paired tissues and 48 healthy tissues were analyzed. Tumor genes whose change in expression was explained by changes in methylation were identified using linear models adjusted for tumor stromal content. Results: No differences in methylation were found between adjacent and healthy tissues, but clear differences were found between adjacent and tumor samples. We identified hypermethylated CpG islands located in promoter regions that drive differential gene expression of transcription factors and their target genes. Conclusion: Changes in methylation of a few genes provoke important changes in gene expression, by expanding the signal through transcription activation/repression.
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