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Tait S.W.G.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Parsons M.J.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Llambi F.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Bouchier-Hayes L.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Developmental Cell

During apoptosis, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) is often a point-of-no-return; death can proceed even if caspase activation is disrupted. However, under certain conditions, resistance to MOMP-dependent, caspase-independent cell death is observed. Mitochondrial recovery represents a key process in this survival. Live cell imaging revealed that during apoptosis not all mitochondria in a cell necessarily undergo MOMP. This incomplete MOMP (iMOMP) was observed in response to various stimuli and in different cell types regardless of caspase activity. Importantly, the presence of intact mitochondria correlated with cellular recovery following MOMP, provided that caspase activity was blocked. Such intact mitochondria underwent MOMP in response to treatment of cells with the Bcl-2 antagonist ABT-737, suggesting that the resistance of these mitochondria to MOMP lies at the point of Bax or Bak activation. Thus, iMOMP provides a critical source of intact mitochondria that permits cellular survival following MOMP. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Guedan S.,University of Pennsylvania | Guedan S.,Institute Dinvestigacio Biomedica Of Bellvitge | Chen X.,New York University | Madar A.,New York University | And 11 more authors.

With the notable exception of B-cell malignancies, the efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells has been limited, and CAR T cells have not been shown to expand and persist in patients with nonlymphoid tumors. Here we demonstrate that redirection of primary human T cells with a CAR containing the inducible costimulator (ICOS) intracellular domain generates tumor-specific IL-17-producing effector cells that show enhanced persistence. Compared with CARs containing the CD3ζ chain alone, or in tandem with the CD28 or the 4-1BB intracellular domains, ICOS signaling increased IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22 following antigen recognition. In addition, T cells redirected with an ICOS-based CAR maintained a core molecular signature characteristic of T H17 cells and expressed higher levels of RORC, CD161, IL1R-1, and NCS1. Of note, ICOS signaling also induced the expression of IFN-γ and T-bet, consistent with a TH17/TH1 bipolarization. When transferred into mice with established tumors, TH17 cells that were redirected with ICOS-based CARsmediated efficient antitumor responses and showedenhanced persistence compared with CD28- or 4-1BB-based CAR T cells. Thus, redirection of TH17 cells with a CAR encoding the ICOS intracellular domain is a promising approach to augment the function and persistence of CAR T cells in hematologic malignancies. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Monk D.,Institute Dinvestigacio Biomedica Of Bellvitge
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic mechanism involved in many essential cellular processes. During development epigenetic reprograming takes place during gametogenesis and then again in the pre-implantation embryo. These two reprograming windows ensure genome-wide removal of methylation in the primordial germ cells so that sex-specific signatures can be acquired in the sperm and oocyte. Following fertilization the majority of this epigenetic information is erased to give the developing embryo an epigenetic profile coherent with pluripotency. It is estimated that ∼65% of the genome is differentially methylated between the gametes, however following embryonic reprogramming only parent-of-origin methylation at known imprinted loci remains. This suggests that trans-acting factors such as Zfp57 can discriminate imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs) from the thousands of CpG rich regions that are differentially marked in the gametes. Recently transient imprinted DMRs have been identified suggesting that these loci are also protected from pre-implantation reprograming but succumb to de novo remethylation at the implantation stage. This highlights that "ubiquitous" imprinted loci are also resilient to gaining methylation by protecting their unmethylated alleles. In this review I examine the processes involved in epigenetic reprograming and the mechanisms that ensure allelic methylation at imprinted loci is retained throughout the life of the organism, discussing the critical differences between mouse and humans. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Epigenetics Dynamics in development and disease. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Monk D.,Institute Dinvestigacio Biomedica Of Bellvitge
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

With the launch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health Human Placenta Project, the anticipation is that this often-overlooked organ will be the subject of much intense research. Compared with somatic tissues, the cells of the placenta have a unique epigenetic profile that dictates its transcription patterns, which when disturbed may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. One major class of genes that is dependent on strict epigenetic regulation in the placenta is subject to genomic imprinting, the parent-of-origin-dependent monoallelic gene expression. This review discusses the differences in allelic expression and epigenetic profiles of imprinted genes that are identified between different species, which reflect the continuous evolutionary adaption of this form of epigenetic regulation. These observations divulge that placenta-specific imprinted gene that is reliant on repressive histone signatures in mice are unlikely to be imprinted in humans, whereas intense methylation profiling in humans has uncovered numerous maternally methylated regions that are restricted to the placenta that are not conserved in mice. Imprinting has been proposed to be a mechanism that regulates parental resource allocation and ultimately can influence fetal growth, with the placenta being the key in this process. Furthermore, I discuss the developmental dynamics of both classic and transient placenta-specific imprinting and examine the evidence for an involvement of these genes in intrauterine growth restriction and placenta-associated complications. Finally, I focus on examples of genes that are regulated aberrantly in complicated pregnancies, emphasizing their application as pregnancy-related disease biomarkers to aid the diagnosis of at-risk pregnancies early in gestation. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Villalonga-Planells R.,University of Barcelona | Coll-Mulet L.,University of Barcelona | Martinez-Soler F.,University of Barcelona | Castano E.,University of Barcelona | And 4 more authors.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults. Despite concerted efforts to improve current therapies and develop novel clinical approaches, patient survival remains poor. As such, increasing attention has focused on developing new therapeutic strategies that specifically target the apoptotic pathway in order to improve treatment responses. Recently, nutlins, small-molecule antagonists of MDM2, have been developed to inhibit p53-MDM2 interaction and activate p53 signaling in cancer cells. Glioma cell lines and primary cultured glioblastoma cells were treated with nutlin-3a. Nutlin-3a induced p53-dependent G1- and G2-M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in glioma cell lines with normal TP53 status. In addition, nutlin-arrested glioma cells show morphological features of senescence and persistent induction of p21 protein. Furthermore, senescence induced by nutlin-3a might be depending on mTOR pathway activity. In wild-type TP53 primary cultured cells, exposure to nutlin-3a resulted in variable degrees of apoptosis as well as cellular features of senescence. Nutlin-3a-induced apoptosis and senescence were firmly dependent on the presence of functional p53, as revealed by the fact that glioblastoma cells with knockdown p53 with specific siRNA, or cells with mutated or functionally impaired p53 pathway, were completely insensitive to the drug. Finally, we also found that nutlin-3a increased response of glioma cells to radiation therapy. The results provide a basis for the rational use of MDM2 antagonists as a novel treatment option for glioblastoma patients. © 2011 Villalonga-Planells et al. Source

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