Try a new search

Format these results:

Searched for:



Total Results:


Nickel-induced transcriptional memory in lung epithelial cells promotes interferon signaling upon nicotine exposure

Zhang, Xiaoru; Bradford, Beatrix; Baweja, Sahdev; Tan, Taotao; Lee, Hyun-Wook; Jose, Cynthia C; Kim, Nicholas; Katari, Manpreet; Cuddapah, Suresh
Exposure to nickel, an environmental respiratory toxicant, is associated with lung diseases including asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchitis and cancers. Our previous studies have shown that a majority of the nickel-induced transcriptional changes are persistent and do not reverse even after the termination of exposure. This suggested transcriptional memory, wherein the cell 'remembers' past nickel exposure. Transcriptional memory, due to which the cells respond more robustly to a previously encountered stimulus has been identified in a number of organisms. Therefore, transcriptional memory has been described as an adaptive mechanism. However, transcriptional memory caused by environmental toxicant exposures has not been well investigated. Moreover, how the transcriptional memory caused by an environmental toxicant might influence the outcome of exposure to a second toxicant has not been explored. In this study, we investigated whether nickel-induced transcriptional memory influences the outcome of the cell's response to a second respiratory toxicant, nicotine. Nicotine, an addictive compound in tobacco, is associated with the development of chronic lung diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. Our results show that nicotine exposure upregulated a subset of genes only in the cells previously exposed to nickel. Furthermore, our analyses indicate robust activation of interferon (IFN) signaling in these cells. IFN signaling is a driver of inflammation, which is associated with many chronic lung diseases. Therefore, our results suggest that nicotine exposure of lung cells that retain the transcriptional memory of previous nickel exposure could result in increased susceptibility to developing chronic inflammatory lung diseases.
PMID: 37951547
ISSN: 1096-0333
CID: 5612872

Interpretable predictive models of genome-wide aryl hydrocarbon receptor-DNA binding reveal tissue-specific binding determinants

Filipovic, David; Qi, Wenjie; Kana, Omar; Marri, Daniel; LeCluyse, Edward L; Andersen, Melvin E; Cuddapah, Suresh; Bhattacharya, Sudin
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an inducible transcription factor whose ligands include the potent environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Ligand-activated AhR binds to DNA at dioxin response elements (DREs) containing the core motif 5'-GCGTG-3'. However, AhR binding is highly tissue specific. Most DREs in accessible chromatin are not bound by TCDD-activated AhR, and DREs accessible in multiple tissues can be bound in some and unbound in others. As such, AhR functions similarly to many nuclear receptors. Given that AhR possesses a strong core motif, it is suited for a motif-centered analysis of its binding. We developed interpretable machine learning models predicting the AhR binding status of DREs in MCF-7, GM17212, and HepG2 cells, as well as primary human hepatocytes. Cross-tissue models predicting transcription factor (TF)-DNA binding generally perform poorly. However, reasons for the low performance remain unexplored. By interpreting the results of individual within-tissue models and by examining the features leading to low cross-tissue performance, we identified sequence and chromatin context patterns correlated with AhR binding. We conclude that AhR binding is driven by a complex interplay of tissue-agnostic DRE flanking DNA sequence and tissue-specific local chromatin context. Additionally, we demonstrate that interpretable machine learning models can provide novel and experimentally testable mechanistic insights into DNA binding by inducible TFs.
PMID: 37707797
ISSN: 1096-0929
CID: 5593252

MicroRNA-Gene Interactions Impacted by Toxic Metal(oid)s during EMT and Carcinogenesis

Tran, Franklin; Lee, Eunji; Cuddapah, Suresh; Choi, Byeong Hyeok; Dai, Wei
Chronic environmental exposure to toxic metal(loid)s significantly contributes to human cancer development and progression. It is estimated that approximately 90% of cancer deaths are a result of metastasis of malignant cells, which is initiated by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during early carcinogenesis. EMT is regulated by many families of genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) that control signaling pathways for cell survival, death, and/or differentiation. Recent mechanistic studies have shown that toxic metal(loid)s alter the expression of miRNAs responsible for regulating the expression of genes involved in EMT. Altered miRNA expressions have the potential to be biomarkers for predicting survival and responses to treatment in cancers. Significantly, miRNAs can be developed as therapeutic targets for cancer patients in the clinic. In this mini review, we summarize key findings from recent studies that highlight chemical-miRNA-gene interactions leading to the perturbation of EMT after exposure to toxic metal(loid)s including arsenic, cadmium, nickel, and chromium.
PMID: 36497298
ISSN: 2072-6694
CID: 5381762

Nickel-induced alterations to chromatin structure and function

Gaspar, Adrian Domnic; Cuddapah, Suresh
Nickel (Ni), a heavy metal is prevalent in the atmosphere due to both natural and anthropogenic activities. Ni is a carcinogen implicated in the development of lung and nasal cancers in humans. Furthermore, Ni exposure is associated with a number of chronic lung diseases in humans including asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary edema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While Ni compounds are weak mutagens, a number of studies have demonstrated the potential of Ni to alter the epigenome, suggesting epigenomic dysregulation as an important underlying cause for its pathogenicity. In the eukaryotic nucleus, the DNA is organized in a three-dimensional (3D) space through assembly of higher order chromatin structures. Such an organization is critically important for transcription and other biological activities. Accumulating evidence suggests that by negatively affecting various cellular regulatory processes, Ni could potentially affect chromatin organization. In this review, we discuss the role of Ni in altering the chromatin architecture, which potentially plays a major role in Ni pathogenicity.
PMID: 36400264
ISSN: 1096-0333
CID: 5385042

Oxidative stress modulates expression of immune checkpoint genes via activation of AhR signaling

Kou, Ziyue; Yang, Rui; Lee, Eunji; Cuddapah, Suresh; Choi, Byeong Hyeok; Dai, Wei
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are by-products of metabolism of oxygen and they play an important role in normal homeostasis and cell signaling, as well as in the initiation of diseases including cancer when their production is upregulated. Thus, it is imperative to understand the cellular and molecular basis by which ROS impact on various biological and pathological processes. In this report, we show that human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) treated with hydrogen peroxide displayed an increased activity of AhR, leading to enhanced expression of its downstream targets including cytochrome P450 genes. Intriguingly, preincubation of the complete culture medium with hydrogen peroxide accelerated AhR activation and its downstream signaling. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis reveals that the oxidant elicits the production of oxindole, a tryptophan catabolic product. We further demonstrate that 2-oxindole (a major form of oxindole) is capable of activating AhR, strongly suggesting that ROS may exert a significant impact on AhR signaling. Consistent with this, we also observe that hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], a heavy metal known to generate ROS in vivo, enhances AhR protein levels, as well as stimulates expression of CYP1A2 in an AhR-dependent manner. Significantly, we show that hydrogen peroxide and 2-oxindole induce expression of IDO1 and PD-L1, two immune checkpoint proteins. Given the role of IDO1 and PD-L1 in mediating T cell activity and/or differentiation, we postulate that ROS in the tumor microenvironment may play a crucial role in immune suppression via perturbing AhR signaling.
PMID: 36368423
ISSN: 1096-0333
CID: 5356602

Transcriptional repression of E-cadherin in nickel-exposed lung epithelial cells mediated by loss of Sp1 binding at the promoter

Zhang, Xiaoru; Tanwar, Vinay Singh; Jose, Cynthia C; Lee, Hyun-Wook; Cuddapah, Suresh
E-cadherin plays a central role in the stability of epithelial tissues by facilitating cell-cell adhesion. Loss of E-cadherin expression is a hallmark of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a major event in the pathogenesis of several lung diseases. Our earlier studies showed that nickel, a ubiquitous environmental toxicant, induced EMT by persistently downregulating E-cadherin expression in human lung epithelial cells and that the EMT remained irreversible postexposure. However, the molecular basis of persistent E-cadherin downregulation by nickel exposure is not understood. Here, our studies show that the binding of transcription factor Sp1 to the promoter of E-cadherin encoding gene, CDH1, is essential for its expression. Nickel exposure caused a loss of Sp1 binding at the CDH1 promoter, resulting in its downregulation and EMT induction. Loss of Sp1 binding at the CDH1 promoter was associated with an increase in the binding of ZEB1 adjacent to the Sp1 binding site. ZEB1, an EMT master regulator persistently upregulated by nickel exposure, is a negative regulator of CDH1. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockout of ZEB1 restored Sp1 binding at the CDH1 promoter. Furthermore, ZEB1 knockout rescued E-cadherin expression and re-established the epithelial phenotype. Since EMT is associated with a number of nickel-exposure-associated chronic inflammatory lung diseases including asthma, fibrosis and cancer and metastasis, our findings provide new insights into the mechanisms associated with nickel pathogenesis.
PMID: 34727382
ISSN: 1098-2744
CID: 5038022

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition: Insights into nickel-induced lung diseases

Lee, Hyun-Wook; Jose, Cynthia C; Cuddapah, Suresh
Nickel compounds are environmental toxicants, prevalent in the atmosphere due to their widespread use in several industrial processes, extensive consumption of nickel containing products, as well as burning of fossil fuels. Exposure to nickel is associated with a multitude of chronic inflammatory lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, nickel exposure is implicated in the development of nasal and lung cancers. Interestingly, a common pathogenic mechanism underlying the development of diseases associated with nickel exposure is epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a process by which the epithelial cells lose their junctions and polarity and acquire mesenchymal traits, including increased ability to migrate and invade. EMT is a normal and essential physiological process involved in differentiation, development and wound healing. However, EMT also contributes to a number of pathological conditions, including fibrosis, cancer and metastasis. Growing evidence suggest that EMT induction could be an important outcome of nickel exposure. In this review, we discuss the role of EMT in nickel-induced lung diseases and the mechanisms associated with EMT induction by nickel exposure.
PMID: 34058338
ISSN: 1096-3650
CID: 4905752

Nickel-induced transcriptional changes persist  post exposure through epigenetic reprogramming

Jose, Cynthia C; Wang, Zhenjia; Tanwar, Vinay Singh; Zhang, Xiaoru; Zang, Chongzhi; Cuddapah, Suresh
BACKGROUND:Nickel is an occupational and environmental toxicant associated with a number of diseases in humans including pulmonary fibrosis, bronchitis and lung and nasal cancers. Our earlier studies showed that the nickel-exposure-induced genome-wide transcriptional changes, which persist even after the termination of exposure may underlie nickel pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms that drive nickel-induced persistent changes to the transcriptome remain elusive. RESULTS:To elucidate the mechanisms that underlie nickel-induced long-term transcriptional changes, in this study, we examined the transcriptome and the epigenome of human lung epithelial cells during nickel exposure and after the termination of exposure. We identified two categories of persistently differentially expressed genes: (i) the genes that were differentially expressed during nickel exposure; and (ii) the genes that were differentially expressed only after the termination of exposure. Interestingly, > 85% of the nickel-induced gene expression changes occurred only after the termination of exposure. We also found extensive genome-wide alterations to the activating histone modification, H3K4me3, after the termination of nickel exposure, which coincided with the post-exposure gene expression changes. In addition, we found significant post-exposure alterations to the repressive histone modification, H3K27me3. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that while modest first wave of transcriptional changes occurred during nickel exposure, extensive transcriptional changes occurred during a second wave of transcription for which removal of nickel ions was essential. By uncovering a new category of transcriptional and epigenetic changes, which occur only after the termination of exposure, this study provides a novel understanding of the long-term deleterious consequences of nickel exposure on human health.
PMID: 31856895
ISSN: 1756-8935
CID: 4243672

Cadmium exposure upregulates SNAIL through miR-30 repression in human lung epithelial cells

Tanwar, Vinay Singh; Zhang, Xiaoru; Jagannathan, Lakshmanan; Jose, Cynthia C; Cuddapah, Suresh
Cadmium (Cd) is a known human lung carcinogen. In addition, Cd exposure is associated with several lung diseases including emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and fibrosis. Although earlier studies have identified several processes dysregulated by Cd exposure, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we examined the transcriptome of lung epithelial cells exposed to Cd to understand the molecular basis of Cd-induced diseases. Computational analysis of the transcriptome predicted a significant number of Cd-upregulated genes to be targets of miR-30 family miRNAs. Experimental validation showed downregulation of all the miR-30 family members in Cd exposed cells. We found SNAIL, an EMT master regulator, to be the most upregulated among the miR-30 targets. Furthermore, we found decrease in the levels of epithelial marker E- cadherin (CDH1) and increase in the levels of mesenchymal markers, ZEB1 and vimentin. This suggested induction of EMT in Cd exposed cells. Luciferase reporter assays showed that miR-30 repressed SNAIL by directly targeting its 3' UTR. Over expression of miR-30e and miR-30e mimics reduced Cd-induced SNAIL upregulation. Our results suggest that miR-30 negatively regulates SNAIL in lung epithelial cells and that Cd-induced downregulation of miR-30 relieves this repression, resulting in SNAIL upregulation and EMT induction. EMT plays a major role in many diseases associated with Cd exposure including fibrosis, COPD and cancer and metastasis. Therefore, our identification of miR-30 downregulation in Cd exposed cells and the consequent activation of SNAIL provides important mechanistic insights into lung diseases associated with Cd exposure.
PMID: 30998937
ISSN: 1096-0333
CID: 3810632

Role of CTCF in DNA damage response

Tanwar, Vinay Singh; Jose, Cynthia C; Cuddapah, Suresh
CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is a highly conserved, ubiquitously expressed zinc finger protein. CTCF is a multifunctional protein, associated with a number of vital cellular processes such as transcriptional activation, repression, insulation, imprinting and genome organization. Emerging evidence indicates that CTCF is also involved in DNA damage response. In this review, we focus on the newly identified role of CTCF in facilitating DNA double-strand break repair. Due to the large number of cellular processes in which CTCF is involved, factors that functionally affect CTCF could have serious implications on genomic stability. It is becoming increasingly clear that exposure to environmental toxicants could have adverse effects on CTCF functions. Here we discuss the various ways that environmental toxicants could impact CTCF functions and the potential consequences on DNA damage response.
PMID: 31395350
ISSN: 1873-135x
CID: 4034432