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.