Monday, October 3, 2022

Angiogenic Growth Factor Flood

A previous series, about p53 culminated with "Blastocyst Development - A Perfected Cancer Model" that focused on the parallels in angiogenesis, triggered by blastocyst implantation and progression of tumors beyond ~1mm. Now, a recent study has found that conventional Natural Killer cells (cNK) control vascular remodeling in the uterus during pregnancy by acidifying the extracellular matrix (ECM) with a2V-ATPase that activates MMP-9 that degrades the ECM. Ablation of a2V-ATPase decreases Bax and p53 expression in testis and leads to implantation failure in the female mouse. The degrading ECM releases bound pro-angiogenic growth factors that contribute to Uterine artery (UtA) remodeling characterized by the loss of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and dilation of the vessels. Without cNK, the UtA never lose VSMCs and UtA resistance remains high often leading to implantation failure.

Its logical that a timely flood of angiogenic growth factors, previously stored in the ECM would provide instant availability, but whether this explains the maternal-embryonic immune paradox remains to be determined? In the immune paradox maternal NK cells invade and maternal blood vessels are remodeled just before the arrival of trophoblasts, the external cells of the blastocyst, that carry male antigens during formation of the fetal placenta. A sudden flood of angiogenic factors preceding invading trophoblasts could provide the perfect environment required for maternal arterial/vascular remodeling.

Lymphocytes in the uterine lining (decidua) are dominated by a unique decidual natural killer (dNK) cell population. The dNK cell surface phenotype CD56bright CD16− CD3− and macrophages CD14+ CD206+(dMac) support a model whereby dNK cells, capable of killing extra-villous cytotrophoblasts (CTB), are prevented from doing so by neighboring macrophages thus protecting the fetal cells from NK cell attack. Existing research has centered on the function of the abundant and diverse sets of dNK, but now that cNK cells have been identified to play a more significant role, our understanding of the remodeling are likely to change.

In CTB exogenous p53 is able to down-regulate MMP-9 promoter activity, but endogenous p53 is not able to regulate MMP-9 expression in first trimester CTB cells. Inactivation of p53 through mutation is the most common trait in cancer. By loosing its onco-suppressive activity, p53 becomes oncogenic in almost all malignant tumors (Soussi and Lozano, 2005). Although p53 is not mutated in the human placenta, it has become functionally incompetent. Understanding why and how p53 is functionally incompetent in CTB might well be the key to understanding trophoblast invasion.

Downregulation of EMMPRIN (BSG,CD147) by p53 leads to a decrease in the activity of MMP-9 and an inhibition of tumor cell invasion. Upregulation of EMMPRIN seen in many cancers can be attributed to, at least in part, to the dysfunction of p53 and thus provides new evidence for the roles of p53 in tumor development and progression. Epithelial derived MMP-9 exhibits a novel defensive role of tumor suppressor in colitis associated cancer by activating MMP9-Notch1-ARF-p53 axis. MMP-9 mediates Notch1 signaling via p53 to regulate apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and inflammation. 

The inter-activity of p53, cNK and MMP-9 are complexed, but this novel research may lead to the mechanisms by which arterial remodeling occurs after release of angiogenic factors from ECM. If that shares characteristics of NK invasion into developing tumor micro environment's a new therapeutic approach may arise.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Educating Perfect Natural Killers

Mining Tissue Match for Immune Co-culture

Mutant p53 knockdown in KPC (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma) cells of immune deficient mice had no effect on primary tumor growth, by contrast the reduced tumor growth in the immune-proficient syngeneic host was due to altered immune cell recruitment.

In vivo, the increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines coupled with increased Natural Killer (NK) cell ligand expression permits the recruitment of immune cells and clearance of abnormal cells. Elimination of senescent tumors by NK cells may occur as a result of the cooperation of signals associated with p53 expression or senescence, which regulate NK cell recruitment, and other signals that induce NKG2D ligand expression on tumor cells.

Coculture of wild-type (wt) p53-induced human tumor cells with primary human NK cells enhanced NKG2D-dependent degranulation and IFN-γ production by NK cells. Taken together findings define the involvement of p53 in the regulation of specific NKG2D ligands that enhance NK cell–mediated target recognition.

Inhibitory KIR-educated NK cells showed significantly increased expression of the glucose transporter Glut1 in comparison to NKG2A-educated or uneducated NK cells, with and without exposure to target cells. Educated NK cells displayed significantly higher rates of cellular glycolysis than uneducated NK cells indicating they may reside in different metabolic states prior to activation. The ability to metabolize glucose may represent a mechanism for the superior functionality of educated NK cells expressing KIR receptors. 

Cancer cells acquire immunoediting abilities by which they evade surveillance and escape eradication. Murine p53 missense mutation G242A (human G245A) suppresses activation of host NK cells, enabling breast cancer cells to avoid immune assault. Serial injection of EMT6 breast cancer cells that carry wild-type (wt) Trp53 promoted NK activity, while SVTneg2 cells carrying Trp53 G242A+/+ mutation decreased NK cell numbers and increased CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers in spleen. Upon co-culture with isolated NK cells, EMT6 cells activated NK cells and proliferation, increasing interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production; however, SVTneg2 cells suppressed NK cell activation. p53 can modulate expression by cancer cells of Mult-1 and H60a activating and inhibitory ligands for NKG2D receptors of NK cells, respectively, to enhance immune surveillance against cancer. p53 is requisite for NK cell-based immune recognition and elimination of cancerous cells, and p53 missense mutant in cancer cells impairs NK cell responses.

NK cells are the oldest member of the innate lymphoid cell family (ILC) and the only representative of cytotoxic ILCs. These tissue-resident innate immune cells have a similar functional diversity to T cells including lineage-specifying transcription factors that drive certain effector programs. ILCs are present in almost every tissue, but strongly enriched at barrier surfaces, where they regulate immunity to infection, chronic inflammation, and tissue maintenance. ILCs orchestrate tissue homeostasis through their ability to sustain bidirectional interactions with epithelial cells, neurons, stromal cells, adipocytes, and many other tissue-resident cells. ILCs provide an integrated view on how immune responses in tissues are synchronized with functional relevance far beyond the classical view of the role of the immune system in discrimination between self/non-self and host defense.

Codondex has evidenced p53 genetic variations, in multiple samples of same biopsy tissue from pancreatic tumors and oral squamous cell carcinoma's that may distinguish host tumor tissue gradients. The effect of highly-specific tissue-selected cell co-culture to educate ILC/NK cells may enhance the prospect for tissue penetration by these expanded, activated cytotoxic cells to improve overall survival.  

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Expanding Treatment Horizons

An unrecognized link between p53 function and the immunosurveillance of cancer and infection led to an understanding how p53 influences the expression of MHC molecules at the cell surface via binding interaction with endoplasmic reticulum ERAP1.

Targeted mutations in multiple cancers revealed TP53 gene expression ranged between the 89th and 100th percentile of all expressed transcripts, and raised the possibility that p53 peptides arising from these common mutations might be immunogenic in these patients.

Select KIR-HLA composition favoring antitumor activity could be a promising immunotherapeutic strategy against breast cancer using autologous activated Natural Killer (NK) cell clones. Coexistence of inhibitory and activating killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) to the same cognate HLA-C2 and HLA-Bw4 ligands conferred breast cancer risk. Inhibitory KIR(iKIR)-HLA pairs without their activating KIR (aKIR)-HLA counterparts were significantly higher in normal controls. Contrarily and adding complexity this suggests NK cells expressing iKIR, to cognate HLA-ligands in the absence of specific aKIR counterparts are instrumental in antitumor response

Identification and characterization of the peptides presented by HLA-C, G and E molecules has been lacking behind the more abundant HLA-A and HLA-B gene products. The peptide specificities of these HLA molecules were elucidated using a comprehensive analysis of naturally presented peptides. The 15 most frequently expressed HLA-C alleles as well as HLA-E*01:01 and HLA-G*01:01 were transfected into lymphoblastoid C1R B-cells expressing low endogenous HLA. 

The results (above) include allotype C*02:02 for p53 presentation and indicate the overlap of HLA source protein and top 500 peptides demonstrating the enormous complexity for multivariate analysis of immune response. However,  C*02:02 and C*05:01 have identical contact residues for p8 and p9, the residues of the bound peptide that influences HLA-C interaction with KIR. This suggests peptide effects could contribute to the broader and stronger binding reactions of these two HLA-C allotypes. Interestingly SART3 and MAGEA3 proteins both interact through the p53 pathway and are reported in the peptide study (above) in addition to TP53 to present ligands on C*02:02 and C*05:01. 

Moreover, in vitro  models demonstrated that p53 is required for upregulation of NK ligands. Further, there was a strong association between the KIR B haplotype and p53 alteration in Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), with a higher likelihood that KIR B carriers harbor abnormal p53 (p<0.004). Together the data suggests functional interactions between KIR and HLA modify risks of BCC and Squamous Cell Carcinoma and that KIR encoded by the B genes provide selective pressure for altered p53 in BCC tumors.

Notwithstanding the enormous complexity between iKIR, aKIR - HLA interactions, immunoterapy must address the highly specific characteristics of autologous precision and discover methods to sensitively educate NK cells so that minimally invasive treatments can be extended to patients who fall outside the patient cohort for strictly regulated treatments. 

Of course, its never that simple...

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Evidence of Purposeful Evolution

Darwin's evolution challenged!

A recently published article in Nautre challenged evolution theory suggesting DNA repair was the more likely candidate driving evolutionary development than the environmental conditions thought to be the driver of natural selection. In some sense the two may be linked, but this study showed how epigenome-associated mutation bias reduced the occurrence of deleterious mutations, challenging the prevailing paradigm that mutation is a directionless force in evolution.

Quantitative assessment of DNA gain and loss through DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair processes suggests deletion-biased DSB repair causes ongoing genome shrinking in A. thaliana, whereas genome size in barley remained nearly constant.

Introduction of as little as 0.7% sequence divergence between Alu elements resulted in a significant reduction in recombination, which indicates even small degrees of sequence divergence reduce the efficiency of homology-directed DSB repair. Alu elements are the most abundant transposable elements (capable of shifting their positions) containing over one million copies dispersed throughout the human genome.

The emergence of recombination-activating genes (RAGs) in jawed vertebrates endowed adaptive immune cells with the ability to assemble a diverse set of antigen receptor genes. Innate Natural Killer (NK) cells are unable to express RAGs or RAG endonuclease activity during ontogeny. They exhibit a cell-intrinsic hyperresponsiveness, but a diminished capacity to survive following virus-driven proliferation, a reduced expression of DNA damage response mediators, and defects in the repair of DNA breaks. However, RAG expression in uncommitted hematopoietic progenitors and NK cell precursors marks functionally distinct subsets of NK cells in the periphery, demonstrating a novel role for RAG in the functional specialization of the NK cell lineage. 

The most active region of Human Chromosome 19 has a long history of recombinations that define the expression patterns of telomeric and centromeric proportions of Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) gene's encoding receptors. KIR's bind cells presenting MHC class 1 HLA haplotype combinations, that vary significantly across tissues in different population groups. Further, the deletion rate in Zinc Finger clusters (ZNF) located around 19q13.42, near KIR and C19MC between 51,012,739 and 55,620,741 are about twofold higher than the background deletion rate. 

The relationship between deletions and mutation may indeed play a direct role in rapidly evolving, innate immunity. This may just begin to explain the speed at which global populations can respond and survive pandemics caused by the likes of COVID-19. And, the '19' in its nomenclature may go beyond time to the very chromosome responsible for innate immune diversity.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Retroviral Defense And Mitochondrial Offense

Chromosomal DNA has played host to the long game of viral insertions that repeat and continue as a genetic and epigenetic symbiosis along its phosphate and pentose sugar backbone. But, the bacterial origin of mitochondria and its hosted DNA also promotes its offense. 

Research suggests that retrovirus insertions evolved from a type of transposon called a retrotransposon. The evolutionary time scales of inherited, endogenous retroviruses (ERV) and the appearance of the zinc finger gene that binds its unique sequences occur over same time scales of primate evolution. Additionaly the zinc-finger genes that inactivate transposable elements are commonly located on chromosome 19. The recurrence of independent ERV invasions can be countered by a reservoir of zinc-finger repressors that are continuously generated on copy number variant (CNV) formation hotspots.

One of the more intiguing aspects of prevalent CNV hotspots on chromosome 19 are their proximity to killer immunoglobulin receptor gene's (KIR's) and other critical gene's of the innate immune system.

Frequently occuring DNA breaks can cause genomic instability, which is a hallmark of cancer. These breaks are over represented at G4 DNA quadruplexes within, hominid-specific, SVA retrotransposons and generally occur in tumors with mutations in tumor suppressor genes, such as TP53. Cancer mutational burden is shaped by G4 DNA, replication stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, that in lung adenocarcinoma downlregulates SPATA18, a mitochondrial eating protein (MIEAP) that contributes to mitophagy. 

Genetic variations, in non-coding regions can control the activity of conserved protein-coding genes resulting in the establishment of species-specific transcriptional networks. A chromosome 19 zinc finger, ZNF558 evolved as a suppressor of LINE-1 transposons, but has since been co-opted to singly regulate SPATA18. These variations are evident from a panel of 409 human lymphoblastoid cell lines where the lengths of the ZNF558 variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) negatively correlated with its expression. 

Colon cancer cells with p53 deletion were used to analyze deregulated p53 target genes in HCT116 p53 null cells compared to HCT116-p53 +/+ cells. SPATA18 was the most upregulted gene in the differential expression providing further insight to p53 and mitophagy via SPATA18-MIEAP.

p53 response elements (p53RE) can be shaped by long terminal repeats from endogenous retroviruses, long interspersed nuclear repeats, and ALU repeats in humans and fuzzy tandem repeats in mice. Further, p53 pervasively binds to p53REs derived from retrotransposons or other mobile genetic elements and can suppress transcription of retroelements. The p53- mediated mechanisms conferring protection from retroelements is also conserved through evolution. Certainly, p53 has been shown to have other roles in DNA  context, such as playing an important role in replication restart and replication fork progression. The absence of these p53-dependent processes can lead to further genomic instability. 

The frequency of variable length, long or short nucleotide repeats and their locations within a gene may be key to the repression of DNA sequences that would otherwise cause genomic instability or protein expressions that would eat bacterial mitochondria or destroy its cell host. 

The complexity of variable length insertions is made evident when exhaustively analyzing a simple length 12 sequence for the potential frequency of each of its variable length repeats starting from a minumum variable length of 8.

Then, for TGTGGGCCCACA(12)

All possible internal variable length combinations from and including length 8:


For example, reviewing length (8) only:

TGTGGGCC (8) occurs 5 times

GTGGGCCC (8) occurs 8 times

TGGGCCCA (8) occurs 9 times

GGGCCCAC (8) occurs 8 times

GGCCCACA (8) occurs 5 times

Any repeat can be ranked based on its ocurrence within all possible combinations of a given sequence, known as the repeats' iScore rank. This illustrates a potential useful statistical ranking that, subject to biology may describe a repeats inherency to be more or less effective, in increments of the gene sequence. 

Repression of the most active sequences, especially in context of repeats may result in genetic variation. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Chemo vs. Mecho

Data strongly suggests interaction between plasma membrane and submembrane at the endothelial surface controls the inflammatory response

A meta-analysis from six studies of global gene expression profiles of Blood Pressure (BP) and hypertension was performed in 7017 individuals. 34 genes were differentially expressed. Of these, 6 genes were linked including MYADM, which was the only gene, of 34 discovered across diastolic, systolic BP and hypertension. Knockdown of MYADM (19q13), a component of endothelial surface rafts induced an inflammatory phenotype altering barrier function through the increase of the adhesion receptor ICAM-1 (19p13). This is mediated by MYADM activation of ERM actin cytoskeleton proteins. 

Mechanical forces, without a definitive direction e.g., disturbed flow and relatively undirected stretch at branch points and other complex regions cause sustained molecular signaling of pro-inflammatory and proliferative pathways that include mechanical stretch tied to p53

ERM proteins also facilitate Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) dependent egress for T-cells to migrate from lymphoid organs. Their directional migration, by blebbing is contained at the T-cell’s leading edge. This fundamentally different mode of migration is characterized by intracellular pressurization. Of the five S1P receptors S1P2 (19p13) is critical in the immune, nervous, metabolic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and renal systems. Results suggest that the ratio between S1P1 and S1P2 (19p13) governs the migratory behavior of different T cell subsets. 

Human NK cells express S1P1 mRNA. Activation with IL-2 increases S1P1, promotes S1P4 (19p13) and S1P5 (19p13) but not S1P2 (19p13) expression. Unlike S1P1, S1P2 (19p13) signals through several different G-alpha subunits, Gi, G12/13, and Gq. S1P5 (19p13) is also expressed in human and mouse NK cells and was required for mobilization to inflamed organs. S1P5-deficient mice had aberrant NK cell homing during steady-state conditions. NK cell trafficking in vivo requires a dedicated sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor. 

Virus-infected mast cells selectively recruit NK cells and positively modulate their functions through mechanisms dependent on soluble mediators, such as interferons. Skin mast cells protect mice against vaccinia virus by triggering mast cell receptor S1P2 (19p13) and releasing antimicrobial peptides. S1P2 (19p13),  a negative regulator of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) induced migration and proliferation as well as SphK1 expression. 

S1P inhibits macropinocytosis (internalizing extracellular materials) and phosphorylation of Akt via S1P2 (19p13) stimulation resulting in diminished antigen capture.

S1P1, S1P2 (19p13) and S1P3 receptors have redundant or cooperative functions for the development of a stable and mature vascular system during embryonic development. S1P2 (19p13)  and S1P3 are involved in regulation of endothelial barrier function, fibrosis, and vasoconstriction. 

Adipogenic differentiation is inhibited by S1P2 (19p13) as mediated by C/EBPα and PPARγ, which induces PEPCK, a more recent gene of interest in cancer that acts at the junction between glycolysis and the Krebs cycle.

Mecho or chemo, chicken or egg, what first?

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Blood Pressure, Immunity and p53 Checkpoint.


A few chromosome 19 curiosities developed into a deep-dive after looking into the primordial immune complex, the origins of MHC Class I and antigen receptors as revealed by comparative genomics. And the plot thickened because repressors (of endogenous retroviruses) that gained their binding affinity to retrovirus sequences at the same time their targets invaded the human lineage are preferentially located on chromosome 19. Further, the deletion rate in Zinc Finger clusters (ZNF) located around 19p.12 and 19q13.42, particularly between 51,012,739 and 55,620,741 are about twofold higher than the background deletion rate. A lot going on at this very active location which motivated this article.

At 19q13.42 kallikrein related peptidase (KLK’s), leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptors (LILR’s) including killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR’s) as well MYADM, an important blood pressure related gene may also provide some clues to immunity variables that originate from or are influenced by this volatile region.

The retrotransposon bombardment of 19q13.42 and double background deletion rate is a significant remnant. However, after evolutionary MHC changed chromosomes ZNF, and within its range the chromosome 19 miRNA cluster (C19MC - 53,671,968 and 54,264,387) were still subjected to the deleterious effect of  transposons. Regardless, suppression mechanics have kept epigenetic, regulatory and transcription processes, across gene’s far and wide on the move at a relatively stable rates. For example, reverse-transcribed SARS-CoV-2 RNA can integrate into the genome of cultured human cells and can be expressed in patient-derived tissues, but the effects of suppression may be sufficient to illicit a more permanent natural defense. In any event insertions and DNA damage are closely related and associated with loss of p53 that results in centrosome amplification. 

As cells pass through epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), DNA damage prevents the normal reduction of p53 levels diverting the transcriptional program toward mesoderm without induction of an apoptotic response. In contrast, TP53-deficient cells differentiate to endoderm with high efficiency after DNA damage, suggesting that p53 enforces a “differentiation checkpoint” in early endoderm differentiation that alters cell fate in response to DNA damage.

Reproduction, Blood Pressure and NK

In reproduction, some of the 59 known miRNAs from primate-specific C19MC are highly expressed in human placentas and in the serum of pregnant women. They are also packaged into extracellular vesicles of diverse sizes, including exosomes and endow non-trophoblast cells with resistance to a variety of viruses. At least miR-517a-3p (a C19MC from fetal placenta) was incorporated into maternal NK cells in the third trimester, and it was rapidly cleared after delivery. miRNA's regulate the migration of human trophoblasts and suppress EMT genes critical for maintaining the epithelial cytotrophoblasts stem cell phenotype. 

Maternal uterine or decidual Natural Killer cells (dNK) express AT1, AT2, ANP, proteins of Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) suggesting dNK have the potential to contribute to changes in blood pressure that occur between days 5 and 12 of pregnancy in mice. And, pressure related mechanical stretch on endothelial cells interconnects innate and adaptive immune response in hypertension.

Pressure variables in cells and tissues may result from infection, inflammation and membrane stretch, including inner mitochondrial membrane that affects electron transport chain, endoplasmic reticulum, antigen production, presentation and exosome bound p53 / miRNA release.  ANP colocalization to dNK’s suggests that dNK RAS, at day 12 infers a localized RAS related responsiveness. STAT3 in monocytes was activated by increased endothelial stretch and is involved in driving almost all of the pathways that control NK cytolytic activity as well as the reciprocal regulatory interactions between NK cells and other components of the immune system. The crosstalk between STAT3 and p53/RAS signaling controls cancer cell metastasis and cisplatin resistance via the Slug/MAPK/PI3K/AKT-mediated regulation of EMT and autophagy .

Educating NK Subsets 

Looking into some of the ~15 genes scattered among C19MC (~sixty miRNA's) between 53,671,968 and 54,264,387;

1. MYADM was one of two blood pressure signature genes differentially expressed for systolic, diastolic blood pressure and hypertension. Of the ~35 identified genes, several more strongly related to immune cell functions including PRF1, GNLY, TAGAP, IL2RB, GZMB and CD97, NKG7, CLC that are located on chromosome 19. The endothelium maintains a barrier between blood and tissue that becomes more permeable during inflammation. MYADM controls endothelial barrier function through ezrin, radixin, and moesin dependent regulation of ICAM-1 expression an essential receptor for NK interaction.

2. PRPF31 is recruited to introns following the attachment of U4 and U6 (spliceosome) RNA’s. Experiments using PRPF31 determined p53 activation is a general consequence of interfering with the spliceosome. 

3. LILRB1 receptor is expressed on immune cells where it binds to MHC class I molecules on antigen-presenting cells and transduces a negative signal that inhibits stimulation of an immune response. LILRB1 has a polymorphic regulatory region that enhances transcription in NK Cells and recruits zinc finger protein YY1 that inhibits p53. It also educates expanded human NK cells and defines a unique antitumor NK cell subset with potent antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.

Monocyte/macrophage immunoglobulin-like receptors (MIR) genes are closely linked to the KIR gene family and the gene for FcαR at 19q13.4. The linkage was discovered in 1997 when a mouse sequence related to MIR mapped to a region on chromosome 7 syntenic with human 19q13.4. In 2012 a cluster of genetic loci, from multiple mouse strains and across anatomical sites was found to jointly contribute to the development of both thymic and splenic invariant natural killer T-cell NKT-cell levels. The dominant cluster was on mouse chromosome 7 and included almost all the non-C19MC genes located within the human C19MC region:– MYADM, CACNG7, VSTM1, TARM1, PRKCC(G), TFPT, NDUFA3, CNOT3, LENG1, TSEN34, RPS9

Four of nineteen knockout genes, that enhanced NK cell function were on chromosome 19 including GSK3 that phosphorylates Mdm2 to regulate p53 abundance, which would contribute to NK enhancement. 

A study of MHC disassortative mating in humans found Israeli’s were more gene similar, but MHC dissimilar than Europeans who were gene dissimilar and MHC dissimilar . Now, a recent study in American Indians found remarkably low KIR and HLA diversity in Amerindians that revealed signatures of strong purifying selection shaping the centromeric KIR region. This narrows to the importance of LILR-KIR region on chromosome19 that codes for the strongest NK cell educator receptors.

p53 regulates exosomes and miRNA’s directly influence NK responsiveness including regulation of dNK during pregnancy. Exosomes regulated by p53 also transfer it and can suppress growth and proliferation of p53 negative cells. Further, miRNA’s, induced by p53 can directly target ULBP2 mRNA and reduce its cell-surface expression.

Disease highlights
rs78378222 polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region of TP53 contributes to development of age-associated cataracts by modifying miRNA-125b-induced apoptosis of lens epithelial cells. miRNA-125b is a novel negative regulator of p53. Deleting PRPF31 activates the p53 pathway and triggers retinal progenitor cells apoptosis. The members of the miR-125 family (miR-125a on chromosome 19q13.4 and miR-125b on chromosome 21q21.1) reside in two distinct human miRNA clusters with the let-7 and miR-99 families and these miRNAs are thus likely co-transcribed.
More succinctly, NK cells are alerted to induction of p53 in cancer cells by upregulation of the NKG2D ligands ULBP1 and ULBP2. p53 also induces expression of miR-34a and miR-34c, which target ULBP2 mRNA for destabilization. Observations suggest two possibly contrasting roles for p53 in NKG2DL expression and requires more investigation into how the regulation is fine-tuned. Extending this model to human populations would suggest that p53 must be inactivated among those with a robust NK response (those with B haplotypes). 

Taken together, our data suggest functional interactions between KIR and HLA modify risks of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma, and that KIR encoded by the B genes provide selective pressure for altered p53 in BCC tumors. 


The convergence of several important cellular mechanisms that point back to a 19q13.42 address may illustrate ancient and conserved elements that perpetuate and function as integrated biological units effecting blood pressure, reproduction and immunity. Many of these impart education to innate immunity.