Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Cellular biology is viewed through different lenses, but pregnancy offers a perspective on the invasive origin of cell division, the senescent state and cancer. Pregnancy causes Natural Killer cells of the decidua (dNK) to expand abundantly until they represent as much as 30% of the mucous membranes' cells. NK cells may be induced to expand by invading trophoblasts to realize the dNK trifecta - robust innate immunity that protects the embryo from maternal infection, modulation of trophoblast invasion and driver of vascular remodeling. However, in many cancers expansion of diverse NK populations fails to materialize and missing sub-sets of NK cell diversity provides a path for cancers unchecked growth.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Then, in a 2019 study of arsenite-induced human keratinocyte transformation knockdown of METTL3 significantly decreased m6A level, restored p53 activation and inhibited cellular transformation phenotypes in the arsenite-transformed cells. Further, it was demonstrated that m6A downregulated the expression of the positive p53 regulator, PRDM2, through the YTHDF2-promoted decay of PRDM2 mRNAs. Further, m6A upregulated the expression of negative p53 regulator, YY1 and MDM2 through YTHDF1-stimulated translation of YY1 and MDM2 mRNA.
Finally in 2021 a discovery that YTHDF2 is upregulated in NK cells upon activation by cytokines, tumors, and cytomegalovirus infection. Ythdf2 deficiency in NK cells impaired its anti-tumor and anti-viral activity in vivo. YTHDF2 maintains NK cell homeostasis and terminal maturation, correlating with modulating NK cell trafficking and regulating Eomes, respectively. YTHDF2 promotes NK cell effector function and is required for IL-15-mediated NK cell survival and proliferation by forming a STAT5-YTHDF2 positive feedback loop. Analysis showed significant enrichment in cell cycle, division, and division-related processes, including mitotic cytokinesis, chromosome segregation, spindle, nucleosome, midbody, and chromosome. This data supports roles of YTHDF2 in regulating NK proliferation, survival, and effector functions. Transcriptome-wide screening identified Tardbp (TDP-43) to be involved in cell proliferation or survival as a YTHDF2-binding target in NK cells.
Downregulation of METTL3, which in spinal cord contributes with YTHDF2 to modulate inflammatory pain may upregulate differentially expressed p53 network splice variants that oppose YTHDF2 induced downregulation of p53, via PRDM2 leading to apoptotic or diseased cells. In diseased environments cytokines may upregulate YTHDF2 in NK cells leading to downregulation of p53 and cytoskeletal transformation that may be sufficient, at an immune synapse to advance cytolysis.
p53 signals may inform selections of cells and tissue that prime NK cells for advanced, personalized immune therapy.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
A genome-wide, tissue-independent quasi-linear, inverse relationship exists between DNA methylation of the first intron and gene expression. More tissue-specific, differentially methylated regions exist in the first intron than in any other gene feature. These have positive or negative correlation with gene expression, indicative of distinct mechanisms of tissue-specific regulation. CpGs in transcription factor binding motifs are enriched in the first intron and methylation tends to increase with distance from the first exon–first intron boundary, with a concomitant decrease in gene expression.
Since the relationship between sequence, methylation, repression and transcription is determinative in ESC differentiation it may also suggest a broader link to differential translation. Translation is required for miRNA-dependent transcript destabilization that alters levels of coding and noncoding transcripts. But, steady-state abundance and decay rates of cytosolic long non-coding RNA's (lncRNAs) are insensitive to miRNA loss. Instead lncRNAs fused to protein-coding reporter sequences become susceptible to miRNA-mediated decay.
In this model, first intron DNA sequences that are differentially methylated, bind transcription factors that effect transcription, impact splicing, expressions of coding or non-coding transcripts and transcript destabilizations resulting in differential rates and possible variations in translation. This bottom-up, dynamic view of the classical process may elevate the first intron from 'junk' to a DNA 'brain' because it plays a more extensive role, heading the process toward translation of any gene or switching it off entirely.
For this reason, among others Codondex uses first intron k-mers relative to the transcripts mRNA as the basis for comparing same gene transcripts in diseased cells or tissue samples. Further, p53 and BRCA1 miRNA key sequences, discovered using Codondex iScore algorithm, when transfected into HeLa cells resulted in significantly reduced proliferation that may result from this accelerated, transfected miRNA dependent decay.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
|Oxford Nanopore Device Reducing Sequencing Cost|
Relationships exist between short sequences of proximal DNA (SSPD) of a gene that when transcribed into RNA present stronger or weaker binding attractions to RNA binding proteins (RBP'S) that settle, edit, splice and resolve messenger RNA (mRNA). Responsive to epigenetic stimuli on Histones and DNA, mRNA are constantly transcribed in different quantity, at different times such that different mRNA strands are transported from the nucleus to cytoplasm where they are translated into and produce any of more than 30,000 different proteins.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms and DNA mutations can alter SSPD combinations in different diseased cells thus altering sequence proximity, ordering that affects transcribed RNA's attraction and optimal binding of RBP's. This may result in modified splicing of RNA, assembly of mRNA and slight or major variations in some or all translated protein derived from that gene.
The specific effects of these DNA variations, on the multitude of proteins produced are generally unknown. However, it remains important to understand their effects in disease, diagnosis and therapy. Typically these have historically been researched by large scale analysis of RBP on RNA as opposed to the more fundamental, yet underrepresented massive array of diseased variant DNA to mRNA transitions.
Most pharmaceutical research is directed to a molecular interference targeting an aberrant protein to cure widely represented or highly impactful disease conditions of society. Economic assessments generally influence government decisions to support research based on loss of GDP contribution by a specific disease in a patient cohort. However, in the modern multi-omics era top down research into protein-RNA activity is descending deeper into the cell to include RNA-mRNA and mRNA-DNA customizable therapies that will eventually resolve individually assessed diseases at a price that addresses much larger array of patient needs.
SNP's and other mutations can vary considerably in cells. These variations can cause instability during division and lead to translated differences that can ultimately drive cancerous cell growth to escape patient immunity. Like a 'whack-a-mole' game, pattern variation and mechanistic persistence eventually beat the player. Without effective immune clearance these cells can replicate into tumors and contribute to microenvironments that support their existence.
Link to video on tumor microenvironment https://youtu.be/Z9H2utcnBic
We thought to analyze DNA and mRNA transcripts from cells in tumors and their microenvironments to see if we could expose the SSPD disordered combinations that may have promoted sub-optimal RBP attractions and led to sustained immune escape. Given the complexity of DNA to mRNA transcription, for any given gene many distortions in gene data sets have to be filtered. To do that we focused on p53, the most mutated gene in cancer. We designed a method to compare sequences arrays of DNA and mRNA Ensembl transcripts, from the consensus of healthy patients to multiple cell samples extracted from different sections of a patients tumor and tumor microenvironment.
We previously identified and measured different levels of Natural Killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, produced from cocultures with the extracted samples of each of the multiple sites of a biopsy. We will measure the different p53 transcript SSPD combinations associated with each sample and determine whether disordered SSPD's corelate with NK cytotoxicity from each coculture. We expect to identify whether biopsied tumor cells, ranked by SSPD's predict the cytotoxicity resulting from NK cell cocultures. We will narrow our research to identify the varied expressions of receptor combinations associated with degrees of cytotoxicity. We will test immune efficacy to lyse and destroy tumor cells. Finally we will test for adaptive immune response.
Our vision is for per-patient, predictable cell co-culture pairings, for innate immune cell education based on ranking DNA-mRNA combinations to lead to multiple effective therapies. The falling cost of sequencing and sophistication of GMP laboratories presently servicing oncologists may support a successful use of this analytical approach to laboratory assisted disease management.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
|DNA Structural Inherency|
Wind two strands of elastic, eventually it will knot, ultimately it will double up on itself. Separate the strands. From the point of unwinding forces will be directed to different regions and the separation will naturally return to the wound state of the band. Do the same with each of 10 different bands or strings of any type, they will all behave in much the same way. For a given section of DNA being transcribed, the effect of separation will be much the same. For a given gene, there will be sequences that can tolerate force to greater or lesser degrees. For different transcripts, of a gene variation at those sequences may be crucial to the integrity of transcription machinery that separates DNA strands to initiate replication to RNA and for the outcome.
Cellular biology is enormously complex in all regards. The physics of molecular interaction, fluid dynamics, and chemistry combine in a system where cause and effect is near impossible to predict. At the most elementary level we hypothesize some non-coding DNA (ncDNA) possess structural inherencies that can be deployed to direct gene proteins and cell function for diagnosis or therapy.
Coding DNA and its regulatory, non-coding gene compliment is transcribed and spliced from a transcribed gene. Transcription to RNA, edited mRNA, spliced non-coding RNA and ultimately mRNA translation to protein can produce wide ranging, variable outcomes that may not be re-captured experimentally.
A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or SNP combinations within a gene may affect the finely tuned balance that results. Under different environmental conditions this could be material to the protein produced. Additionally other mutations of the gene could add complexity to the environment and/or the resulting protein translation.
At this level of cellular biology, genetic DNA stores instruction for protein assemblies to produce new protein required for the fully functional cell. However, DNA's stored mutations can lead to different functional or non-functional versions of protein depending on many different factors. Relationships between ncDNA, including mutations and the transcripts' edited, protein coding mRNA may represent unexplored inherencies that can regulate the gene's mRNA or translated protein.
We built an algorithm to elaborately compare ncDNA sequences of multiple protein coding transcripts of the same gene. For each transcript it steps through every variable length ncDNA sequence (kmer) (specifically intron1), computes a signature for each and indexes it to the constant of the transcripts' mRNA signature. For each step these signatures order the kmers for each of the transcript's. The order is represented in a vector of all the transcripts being compared.
At millions of successive steps (depending on total intron 1 length's) transcripts mostly retain their vector ordering except, as expected at a kmer length change. Mostly transcript order in the vector does not change, occasionally a few positions change, vary rarely do all positions change. Position changes that cause another, like a domino effect are filtered out. For the rarest positions changes at a step, we look to the root causes in the kmer (sequence). We call this a Key Sequence because it is identified by the significance of changes to transcript positions in the vector compared to the vector at the next step.
Therefore, Key Sequences cause the most position changes between transcripts being compared by the algorithm. This relative measure is step dependent and Key Sequences are discovered by comparing transcript positions in the vector at the next step location. Logically, this infers a genes structural inherency discovered through ncDNA Key Sequence relationships to mRNA, to other transcripts, error in gene alignments, sequenced reads or the algorithm.
In assay testing we were able to predict and synthesize non-coding RNA Key Sequences that significantly reduced proliferation of HeLa cells. In our pre-clinical work, based on comparisons to transcripts of the TP53 we will be predicting the efficacy of cell and tissue selections that educate and activate Natural Killer cells.
If Key Sequences are inherent they could open a new frontier for diagnosis and therapy.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Dimorphic complexity between Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) and Killer Immune Receptor (KIR) haplotypes introduce significant challenges for personalized Natural Killer (NK) and immune cell therapy. In vitro models support a p53 requirement for upregulation of NK ligands and there is a strong association between the KIR B haplotype and p53 alteration in Basal Cell Carcinoma's (BCC) with a higher likelihood that KIR B carriers harbor abnormal p53. Data suggests that KIR encoded by B genes provides selective pressure for altered p53 in, at least BCC's.