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Mutation research, 834, 35–41
October, 2018

Reprint of: A three-dimensional in vitro HepG2 cells liver spheroid model for genotoxicity studies.

Shah, Ume-Kulsoom, Mallia, Jefferson de Oliveira, Singh, Neenu, Chapman, Katherine E, Doak, Shareen H, Jenkins, Gareth J S

<p>The liver's role in metabolism of chemicals makes it an appropriate tissue for toxicity testing. Current testing protocols, such as animal testing and two-dimensional liver cell systems, offer limited resemblance to in vivo liver cell behaviour, in terms of gene expression profiles and metabolic competence; thus, they do not always accurately predict human toxicology. In vitro three-dimensional liver cell models offer an attractive alternative. This study reports on the development of a 3D liver model, using HepG2 cells, by a hanging-drop technique, with a focus on evaluating spheroid growth characteristics and suitability for genotoxicity testing. The cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus assay protocol was adapted to enable micronucleus (MN) detection in the 3D spheroid models. This involved evaluating the difference between hanging vs non-hanging drop positions for dosing of the test agents and comparison of automated Metafer scoring with manual scoring for MN detection in HepG2 spheroids. The initial seeding density, used for all experiments, was 5000 cells/20 μl drop hanging spheroids, harvested on day 4, with &gt;75% cell viability. Albumin secretion (7.8 g/l) and both CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 gene expression were highest in the 3D environment at day 4. Exposure to metabolically activated genotoxicants for 24 h resulted in a 6-fold increase in CYP1A1 enzyme activity (3 μM B[<em>a</em>]P) and a 30-fold increase in CYP1A2 enzyme activity (5 μM PhIP) in 3D hanging spheroids. MN inductions in response to B[a]P or PhIP were 2-fold and 3-fold, respectively, and were greater in 3D hanging spheroids than in 2D format, showing that hanging spheroids are more sensitive to genotoxic agents. HepG2 hanging-drop spheroids are an exciting new alternative system for genotoxicity studies, due to their improved structural and physiological properties, relative to 2D cultures.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2018.06.020

The FEBS journal, 285, 3769–3785
October, 2018

Naphthalene diimide-derivatives G-quadruplex ligands induce cell proliferation inhibition, mild telomeric dysfunction and cell cycle perturbation in U251MG glioma cells.

Muoio, Daniela, Berardinelli, Francesco, Leone, Stefano, Coluzzi, Elisa, di Masi, Alessandra, Doria, Filippo, Freccero, Mauro, Sgura, Antonella, Folini, Marco, Antoccia, Antonio

In the present paper, the biological effects of three different naphthalene diimides (NDIs) G-quadruplex (G4) ligands (H-NDI-Tyr, H-NDI-NMe2, and tetra-NDI-NMe2) were comparatively evaluated to those exerted by RHPS4, a well-characterized telomeric G4-ligand, in an in vitro model of glioblastoma. Data indicated that NDIs were very effective in blocking cell proliferation at nanomolar concentrations, although displaying a lower specificity for telomere targeting compared to RHPS4. In addition, differently from RHPS4, NDIs failed to enhance the effect of ionizing radiation, thus suggesting that additional targets other than telomeres could be involved in the strong NDI-mediated anti-proliferative effects. In order to test telomeric off-target action of NDIs, a panel of genes involved in tumor progression, DNA repair, telomere maintenance, and cell-cycle regulation were evaluated at transcriptional and translational level. Specifically, the compounds were able to cause a marked reduction of TERT and BCL2 amounts as well as to favor the accumulation of proteins involved in cell cycle control. A detailed cytofluorimetric analysis of cell cycle progression by means of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and staining of phospho-histone H3 indicated that NDIs greatly reduce the progression through S-phase and lead to G1 accumulation of BrdU-positive cells. Taken together, these data indicated that, besides effects on telomeres and oncogenes such as Tert and Bcl2, nanomolar concentrations of NDIs determined a sustained block of cell proliferation by slowing down cell cycle progression during S-phase. In conclusion, our data indicate that NDIs G4-ligands are powerful antiproliferative agents, which act through mechanisms that ultimately lead to altered cell-cycle control.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/febs.14628

Cancers, 10
October, 2018

Establishment and Characterization of a Reliable Xenograft Model of Hodgkin Lymphoma Suitable for the Study of Tumor Origin and the Design of New Therapies.

M'kacher, Radhia, Frenzel, Monika, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Junker, Steffen, Cuceu, Corina, Morat, Luc, Bauchet, Anne-Laure, Stimmer, Lev, Lenain, Aude, Dechamps, Nathalie, Hempel, William M, Pottier, Geraldine, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Laplagne, Eric, Borie, Claire, Oudrhiri, Noufissa, Jouni, Dima, Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise, Colicchio, Bruno, Dieterlen, Alain, Girinsky, Theodore, Boisgard, Raphael, Bourhis, Jean, Bosq, Jacques, Mehrling, Thomas, Jeandidier, Eric, Carde, Patrice

<p>To identify the cells responsible for the initiation and maintenance of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cells, we have characterized a subpopulation of HL cells grown in vitro and in vivo with the aim of establishing a reliable and robust animal model for HL. To validate our model, we challenged the tumor cells in vivo by injecting the alkylating histone-deacetylase inhibitor, EDO-S101, a salvage regimen for HL patients, into xenografted mice. Blood lymphocytes from 50 HL patients and seven HL cell lines were used. Immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and cytogenetics analyses were performed. The in vitro and in vivo effects of EDO-S101 were assessed. We have successfully determined conditions for in vitro amplification and characterization of the HL L428-c subline, containing a higher proportion of CD30-/CD15- cells than the parental L428 cell line. This subline displayed excellent clonogenic potential and reliable reproducibility upon xenografting into immunodeficient NOD-SCID-gamma (-/-)(NSG) mice. Using cell sorting, we demonstrate that CD30-/CD15- subpopulations can gain the phenotype of the L428-c cell line in vitro. Moreover, the human cells recovered from the seventh week after injection of L428-c cells into NSG mice were small cells characterized by a high frequency of CD30-/CD15- cells. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated that they were diploid and showed high telomere instability and telomerase activity. Accordingly, chromosomal instability emerged, as shown by the formation of dicentric chromosomes, ring chromosomes, and breakage/fusion/bridge cycles. Similarly, high telomerase activity and telomere instability were detected in circulating lymphocytes from HL patients. The beneficial effect of the histone-deacetylase inhibitor EDO-S101 as an anti-tumor drug validated our animal model. Our HL animal model requires only 10³ cells and is characterized by a high survival/toxicity ratio and high reproducibility. Moreover, the cells that engraft in mice are characterized by a high frequency of small CD30-/CD15- cells exhibiting high telomerase activity and telomere dysfunction.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10110414

Radiology, 288, 529--535
August, 2018

Abdominopelvic 1.5-T and 3.0-T MR Imaging in Healthy Volunteers: Relationship to Formation of DNA Double-Strand Breaks.

Suntharalingam, Saravanabavaan, Mladenov, Emil, Sarabhai, Theresia, Wetter, Axel, Kraff, Oliver, Quick, Harald H., Forsting, Michael, Iliakis, Georg, Nassenstein, Kai

Purpose To investigate the relationship between abdominopelvic magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in peripheral blood lymphocytes among a cohort of healthy volunteers. Materials and Methods Blood samples were obtained from 40 healthy volunteers (23 women and 17 men; mean age, 27.2 years [range, 21-37 years]) directly before and 5 and 30 minutes after abdominopelvic MR imaging performed at 1.5 T (n = 20) or 3.0 T (n = 20). The number of DNA DSBs in isolated blood lymphocytes was quantified after indirect immunofluorescent staining of a generally accepted DSB marker, γ-H2AX, by means of high-throughput automated microscopy. As a positive control of DSB induction, blood lymphocytes from six volunteers were irradiated in vitro with x-rays at a dose of 1 Gy (70-90 keV). Statistical analysis was performed by using a Friedman test. Results No significant alteration in the frequency of DNA DSB induction was observed after MR imaging (before imaging: 0.22 foci per cell, interquartile range [IQR] = 0.54 foci per cell; 5 minutes after MR imaging: 0.08 foci per cell, IQR = 0.39 foci per cell; 30 minutes after MR imaging: 0.09 foci per cell, IQR = 0.63 foci per cell; P = .057). In vitro radiation of lymphocytes with 1 Gy led to a significant increase in DSBs (0.22 vs 3.43 foci per cell; P = .0312). The frequency of DSBs did not differ between imaging at 1.5 T and at 3.0 T (5 minutes after MR imaging: 0.23 vs 0.06 foci per cell, respectively [P = .57]; 30 minutes after MR imaging: 0.12 vs 0.08 foci per cell [P = .76]). Conclusion Abdominopelvic MR imaging performed at 1.5 T or 3.0 T does not affect the formation of DNA DSBs in peripheral blood lymphocytes.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1148/radiol.2018172453

Oncogenesis, 7, 62
August, 2018

Chromosomal instability-induced senescence potentiates cell non-autonomous tumourigenic effects.

He, Qianqian, Au, Bijin, Kulkarni, Madhura, Shen, Yang, Lim, Kah J, Maimaiti, Jiamila, Wong, Cheng Kit, Luijten, Monique N H, Chong, Han C, Lim, Elaine H, Rancati, Giulia, Sinha, Indrajit, Fu, Zhiyan, Wang, Xiaomeng, Connolly, John E, Crasta, Karen C

Chromosomal instability (CIN), a high rate of chromosome loss or gain, is often associated with poor prognosis and drug resistance in cancers. Aneuploid, including near-polyploid, cells contain an abnormal number of chromosomes and exhibit CIN. The post-mitotic cell fates following generation of different degrees of chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy are unclear. Here we used aneuploidy inducers, nocodazole and reversine, to create different levels of aneuploidy. A higher extent of aneuploid and near-polyploid cells in a given population led to senescence. This was in contrast to cells with relatively lower levels of abnormal ploidy that continued to proliferate. Our findings revealed that senescence was accompanied by DNA damage and robust p53 activation. These senescent cells acquired the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Depletion of p53 reduced the number of senescent cells with concomitant increase in cells undergoing DNA replication. Characterisation of these SASP factors demonstrated that they conferred paracrine pro-tumourigenic effects such as invasion, migration and angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, a correlation between increased aneuploidy and senescence was observed at the invasive front in breast carcinomas. Our findings demonstrate functional non-equivalence of discernable aneuploidies on tumourigenesis and suggest a cell non-autonomous mechanism by which aneuploidy-induced senescent cells and SASP can affect the tumour microenvironment to promote tumour progression.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41389-018-0072-4

International journal of radiation biology, 94, 664–670
July, 2018

Evaluation of chromosomal aberrations induced by 188Re-dendrimer nanosystem on B16f1 melanoma cells.

Tassano, Marcos, Oddone, Natalia, Fernández, Marcelo, Porcal, Williams, García, MF, Martínez-López, Wilner, Benech, Juan Claudio, Cabral, Pablo

To study the rhenium-188 labeling of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) generation 4 (G4) dendrimer and its evaluation on biodistribution and chromosomal aberrations in melanoma cells induced by ionizing radiation as potential treatment agent. Dendrimers were first conjugated with Suc-HYNIC (succinimidyl 6-hydrazinopyridine-3-carboxylic acid hydrochloride). Dendrimer-HYNIC was then incubated with ReO . Biodistribution was performed administrating Re-dendrimer to normal (NM) or melanoma-bearing mice (MBM). Chromosome aberration test was conducted in order to measure treatment capacity of Re-dendrimer in melanoma cells. Radiolabeling yield of dendrimer was approx. 70%. Biodistribution studies in NM showed blood clearance with hepatic and renal depuration. MBM showed a similar pattern of biodistribution with tumor uptake of 6% of injected dose. Aberrant metaphases quantified in control cells were 7%, increasing to 29.5% in cells treated with 15μCi (0.555 MBq) of Re-dendrimer for 24 h. Re-dendrimer can produce double-stranded breaks in DNA induced by ionizing radiation in melanoma cells in vitro.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2018.1478161

Cancers, 10
July, 2018

Independent Mechanisms Lead to Genomic Instability in Hodgkin Lymphoma: Microsatellite or Chromosomal Instability.

Cuceu, Corina, Colicchio, Bruno, Jeandidier, Eric, Junker, Steffen, Plassa, François Plassa, Shim, Grace, Mika, Justyna, Frenzel, Monika, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Hempel, William M, O'Brien, Grainne, Lenain, Aude, Morat, Luc, Girinsky, Theodore, Dieterlen, Alain, Polanska, Joanna, Badie, Christophe, Carde, Patrice, M'Kacher, Radhia

Microsatellite and chromosomal instability have been investigated in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). We studied seven HL cell lines (five Nodular Sclerosis (NS) and two Mixed Cellularity (MC)) and patient peripheral blood lymphocytes (100 NS-HL and 23 MC-HL). Microsatellite instability (MSI) was assessed by PCR. Chromosomal instability and telomere dysfunction were investigated by FISH. DNA repair mechanisms were studied by transcriptomic and molecular approaches. In the cell lines, we observed high MSI in L428 (4/5), KMH2, and HDLM2 (3/5), low MSI in L540, L591, and SUP-HD1, and none in L1236. NS-HL cell lines showed telomere shortening, associated with alterations of nuclear shape. Small cells were characterized by telomere loss and deletion, leading to chromosomal fusion, large nucleoplasmic bridges, and breakage/fusion/bridge (B/F/B) cycles, leading to chromosomal instability. The MC-HL cell lines showed substantial heterogeneity of telomere length. Intrachromosmal double strand breaks induced dicentric chromosome formation, high levels of micronucleus formation, and small nucleoplasmic bridges. B/F/B cycles induced complex chromosomal rearrangements. We observed a similar pattern in circulating lymphocytes of NS-HL and MC-HL patients. Transcriptome analysis confirmed the differences in the DNA repair pathways between the NS and MC cell lines. In addition, the NS-HL cell lines were radiosensitive and the MC-cell lines resistant to apoptosis after radiation exposure. In mononuclear NS-HL cells, loss of telomere integrity may present the first step in the ongoing process of chromosomal instability. Here, we identified, MSI as an additional mechanism for genomic instability in HL.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10070233

Annals of diagnostic pathology, 34, 1–12
June, 2018

Review with novel markers facilitates precise categorization of 41 cases of diagnostically challenging, "undifferentiated small round cell tumors". A clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic and molecular analysis.

Machado, Isidro, Yoshida, Akihiko, Morales, María Gema Nieto, Abrahão-Machado, Lucas Faria, Navarro, Samuel, Cruz, Julia, Lavernia, Javier, Parafioriti, Antonina, Picci, Piero, Llombart-Bosch, Antonio

Despite extensive immunohistochemical (IHC) and molecular studies combined with morphologic findings, a group of round/ovoid cell tumors histologically similar to Ewing sarcomas (ES) but lacking EWSR1-rearrangements may remain unclassifiable. We retrospectively analyzed 41 Ewing-like tumors (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) previously determined as negative or non-informative for EWSR1-rearrangements by FISH and/or RT-PCR. A new histopathology revision and additional IHC and molecular analyses were carried out in order to investigate whether additional IHC and/or molecular testing in combination with the morphological findings may help in reaching a definitive diagnosis. Almost all the tumors (n=40) involved soft tissue and/or bone and half the patients died of disease. In the archival cases all diagnoses were Ewing sarcoma (ES), Ewing-like sarcoma (ELS), myoepithelial tumor and undifferentiated sarcoma (US). In the new review all the tumors were re-classified as, ES (n=16), Ewing-like tumor with EWSR1 rearrangement and amplification and possible EWSR1-NFATC2 gene fusion (n=1), CIC-rearranged sarcomas or undifferentiated sarcoma, most consistent with CIC-rearranged sarcoma (n=7), sarcoma with BCOR-alteration or undifferentiated sarcoma, consistent with BCOR-associated sarcoma (n=3), neuroblastoma (n=2), unclassifiable neoplasm with neuroblastic differentiation (n=1), malignant rhabdoid tumor (n=2), lymphoblastic lymphoma (n=1), clear cell sarcoma of the gastrointestinal tract (n=1), small cell carcinoma (n=1), sclerosing rhabdomyosarcoma (n=1), desmoplastic small round cell tumor (n=1), malignant peripheral sheath nerve tumor (n=1), poorly-differentiated synovial sarcoma (n=1), Possible gastrointestinal stromal tumor/GIST with predominant round cells (n=1) and possible SMARCA4-deficient-sarcoma (n=1). NKX2.2, ETV4 and BCOR immunoreactivity was observed in all ES, CIC-rearranged sarcomas and sarcomas with BCOR alteration, respectively. CIC-rearrangement by FISH was observed in many of the CIC-rearranged sarcomas. Our analysis of 41 Ewing-like tumors confirms that there may be a significant pathological and IHC overlap among Ewing-like tumors, with prognostic and therapeutic impacts. Additional IHC (NKX2.2, ETV4 and BCOR) and molecular studies including FUS, CIC or BCOR analysis may support the final diagnosis when FISH or RT-PCR fail to detect EWSR1-rearrangements. Any molecular findings should always be interpreted in relation to the specific clinical and pathological context.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2017.11.011

PloS one, 13, e0193213
June, 2018

Impact of 9p deletion and p16, Cyclin D1, and Myc hyperexpression on the outcome of anaplastic oligodendrogliomas.

Michaud, Karine, de Tayrac, Marie, D'Astous, Myreille, Paquet, Claudie, Gould, Peter Vincent, Saikali, Stéphan

<p>To study the presence of 9p deletion and p16, cyclin D1 and Myc expression and their respective diagnostic and prognostic interest in oligodendrogliomas. We analyzed a retrospective series of 40 consecutive anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (OIII) from a single institution and compared them to a control series of 10 low grade oligodendrogliomas (OII). Automated FISH analysis of chromosome 9p status and immunohistochemistry for p16, cyclin D1 and Myc was performed for all cases and correlated with clinical and histological data, event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS). Chromosome 9p deletion was observed in 55% of OIII (22/40) but not in OII. Deletion was highly correlated to EFS (median = 29 versus 53 months, p&lt;0.0001) and OS (median = 48 versus 83 months, p&lt;0.0001) in both the total cohort and the OIII population. In 9p non-deleted oligodendrogliomas, p16 hyperexpression correlated with a shorter OS (p = 0.02 in OII and p = 0.0001 in OIII) whereas lack of p16 expression was correlated to a shorter EFS and OS in 9p deleted OIII (p = 0.001 and p = 0.0002 respectively). Expression of Cyclin D1 was significantly higher in OIII (median expression 45% versus 14% for OII, p = 0.0006) and was correlated with MIB-1 expression (p&lt;0.0001), vascular proliferation (p = 0.002), tumor necrosis (p = 0.04) and a shorter EFS in the total cohort (p = 0.05). Hyperexpression of Myc was correlated to grade (median expression 27% in OII versus 35% in OIII, p = 0.03), and to a shorter EFS in 9p non-deleted OIII (p = 0.01). Chromosome 9p deletion identifies a subset of OIII with significantly worse prognosis. The combination of 9p status and p16 expression level identifies two distinct OIII populations with divergent prognosis. Hyperexpression of Bcl1 and Myc appears highly linked to anaplasia but the prognostic value is unclear and should be investigated further.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0193213

Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology, 93, 653--661
June, 2018

Immense random colocalization, revealed by automated high content image cytometry, seriously questions FISH as gold standard for detecting EML4-ALK fusion.

Smuk, Gábor, Tornóczky, Tamás, Pajor, László, Chudoba, Ilse, Kajtár, Béla, Sárosi, Veronika, Pajor, Gábor

EML4-ALK gene fusion (inv2(p21p23)) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) predisposes to tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. One of the gold standard diagnostics is the dual color (DC) break-apart (BA) FISH technique, however, the unusual closeness of the involved genes has been suggested to raise likelihood of random co-localization (RCL) of signals. Although this is suspected to decrease sensitivity (often to as low as 40-70%), the exact level and effect of RCL has not been revealed thus far. Signal distances were analyzed to the 0.1 µm precision in more than 25,000 nuclei, via automated high content-image cytometry. Negative and positive controls were created using conventional DC BA-, and inv2(p21p23) mimicking probe-sets, respectively. Average distance between red and green signals was 9.72 pixels (px) (±5.14px) and 3.28px (±2.44px), in positives and negatives, respectively; overlap in distribution being 41%. Specificity and sensitivity of correctly determining ALK status was 97% and 29%, respectively. When investigating inv2(p21p23) with DC BA FISH, specificity is high, but seven out of ten aberrant nuclei are inevitably falsely classified as negative, due to the extreme level of RCL. Together with genetic heterogeneity and dilution effect of non-tumor cells in NSCLC, this immense analytical false negativity is the primary cause behind the often described low diagnostic sensitivity. These results convincingly suggest that if FISH is to remain a gold standard for detecting the therapy relevant inv(2), either a modified evaluation protocol, or a more reliable probe-design should be considered than the current DC BA one.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1002/cyto.a.23489

Cancers, 10, e0193213
May, 2018

The Transition between Telomerase and ALT Mechanisms in Hodgkin Lymphoma and Its Predictive Value in Clinical Outcomes.

M'kacher, Radhia, Cuceu, Corina, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Morat, Luc, Frenzel, Monika, Shim, Grace, Lenain, Aude, Hempel, William M, Junker, Steffen, Girinsky, Theodore, Colicchio, Bruno, Dieterlen, Alain, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Borie, Claire, Oudrhiri, Noufissa, Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise, Moralès, Olivier, Renaud, Sarah, Van de Wyngaert, Zoé, Jeandidier, Eric, Delhem, Nadira, Carde, Patrice

<p>We analyzed telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMMs) in lymph node samples from HL patients treated with standard therapy. The TMMs correlated with clinical outcomes of patients. Lymph node biopsies obtained from 38 HL patients and 24 patients with lymphadenitis were included in this study. Seven HL cell lines were used as in vitro models. Telomerase activity (TA) was assessed by TRAP assay and verified through hTERT immunofluorescence expression; alternative telomere lengthening (ALT) was also assessed, along with EBV status. Both TA and ALT mechanisms were present in HL lymph nodes. Our findings were reproduced in HL cell lines. The highest levels of TA were expressed in CD30-/CD15- cells. Small cells were identified with ALT and TA. Hodgkin and Reed Sternberg cells contained high levels of PML bodies, but had very low hTERT expression. There was a significant correlation between overall survival ( &lt; 10 ), event-free survival ( &lt; 10 ), and freedom from progression ( &lt; 10 ) and the presence of an ALT profile in lymph nodes of EBV+ patients. The presence of both types of TMMs in HL lymph nodes and in HL cell lines has not previously been reported. TMMs correlate with the treatment outcome of EBV+ HL patients.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10060169

Angiogenesis, 11, 44
May, 2018

Improved recovery from limb ischaemia by delivery of an affinity-isolated heparan sulphate.

Poon, Selina, Lu, Xiaohua, Smith, Raymond A A, Ho, Pei, Bhakoo, Kishore, Nurcombe, Victor, Cool, Simon M

Peripheral arterial disease is a major cause of limb loss and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. As most standard-of-care therapies yield only unsatisfactory outcomes, more options are needed. Recent cell- and molecular-based therapies that have aimed to modulate vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (VEGF) levels have not yet been approved for clinical use due to their uncertain side effects. We have previously reported a heparan sulphate (termed HS7) tuned to avidly bind VEGF . Here, we investigated the ability of HS7 to promote vascular recovery in a murine hindlimb vascular ischaemia model. HS7 stabilised VEGF against thermal and enzyme degradation in vitro, and isolated VEGF from serum via affinity-chromatography. C57BL6 mice subjected to unilateral hindlimb ischaemia injury received daily intramuscular injections of respective treatments ( n = 8 ) and were assessed over 3 weeks by laser Doppler perfusion, magnetic resonance angiography, histology and the regain of function. Mice receiving HS7 showed improved blood reperfusion in the footpad by day 7. In addition, they recovered hindlimb blood volume two- to fourfold faster compared to the saline group; the greatest rate of recovery was observed in the first week. Notably, 17% of HS7-treated animals recovered full hindlimb function by day 7, a number that grew to 58% and 100% by days 14 and 21, respectively. This was in contrast to only 38% in the control animals. These results highlight the potential of purified glycosaminoglycan fractions for clinical use following vascular insult, and confirm the importance of harnessing the activity of endogenous pro-healing factors generated at injury sites.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10456-018-9622-9

eLife, 7, 3122
May, 2018

Distinct roles of ATM and ATR in the regulation of ARP8 phosphorylation to prevent chromosome translocations.

Sun, Jiying, Shi, Lin, Kinomura, Aiko, Fukuto, Atsuhiko, Horikoshi, Yasunori, Oma, Yukako, Harata, Masahiko, Ikura, Masae, Ikura, Tsuyoshi, Kanaar, Roland, Tashiro, Satoshi

Chromosomal translocations are hallmarks of various types of cancers and leukemias. However, the molecular mechanisms of chromosome translocations remain largely unknown. The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein, a DNA damage signaling regulator, facilitates DNA repair to prevent chromosome abnormalities. Previously, we showed that ATM deficiency led to the 11q23 chromosome translocation, the most frequent chromosome abnormalities in secondary leukemia. Here, we show that ARP8, a subunit of the INO80 chromatin remodeling complex, is phosphorylated after etoposide treatment. The etoposide-induced phosphorylation of ARP8 is regulated by ATM and ATR, and attenuates its interaction with INO80. The ATM-regulated phosphorylation of ARP8 reduces the excessive loading of INO80 and RAD51 onto the breakpoint cluster region. These findings suggest that the phosphorylation of ARP8, regulated by ATM, plays an important role in maintaining the fidelity of DNA repair to prevent the etoposide-induced 11q23 abnormalities.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.7554/eLife.32222

Journal of clinical microbiology, 56
March, 2018

Automated Interpretation of Blood Culture Gram Stains by Use of a Deep Convolutional Neural Network.

Smith, Kenneth P, Kang, Anthony D, Kirby, James E

Microscopic interpretation of stained smears is one of the most operator-dependent and time-intensive activities in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Here, we investigated application of an automated image acquisition and convolutional neural network (CNN)-based approach for automated Gram stain classification. Using an automated microscopy platform, uncoverslipped slides were scanned with a 40× dry objective, generating images of sufficient resolution for interpretation. We collected 25,488 images from positive blood culture Gram stains prepared during routine clinical workup. These images were used to generate 100,213 crops containing Gram-positive cocci in clusters, Gram-positive cocci in chains/pairs, Gram-negative rods, or background (no cells). These categories were targeted for proof-of-concept development as they are associated with the majority of bloodstream infections. Our CNN model achieved a classification accuracy of 94.9% on a test set of image crops. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated a robust ability to differentiate between categories with an area under the curve of &gt;0.98 for each. After training and validation, we applied the classification algorithm to new images collected from 189 whole slides without human intervention. Sensitivity and specificity were 98.4% and 75.0% for Gram-positive cocci in chains and pairs, 93.2% and 97.2% for Gram-positive cocci in clusters, and 96.3% and 98.1% for Gram-negative rods. Taken together, our data support a proof of concept for a fully automated classification methodology for blood-culture Gram stains. Importantly, the algorithm was highly adept at identifying image crops with organisms and could be used to present prescreened, classified crops to technologists to accelerate smear review. This concept could potentially be extended to all Gram stain interpretive activities in the clinical laboratory.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1128/JCM.01521-17

British journal of pharmacology
March, 2018

CO-EXPRESSION OF μ AND δ OPIOID RECEPTORS BY MOUSE COLONIC NOCICEPTORS.

Guerrero-Alba, Raquel, Valdez-Morales, Eduardo Emmanuel, Jiménez-Vargas, Nestor Nivardo, Bron, Romke, Poole, Daniel, Reed, David, Castro, Joel, Campaniello, Melissa, Hughes, Patrick A, Brierley, Stuart M, Bunnett, Nigel, Lomax, Alan E, Vanner, Stephen

To better understand opioid signaling in visceral nociceptors, we examined the expression and selective activation of mu (MOR) and delta opioid receptors (DOR) by dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons innervating the mouse colon. DRG neurons projecting to the colon were identified by retrograde tracing. DOR-GFP reporter mice, in situ hybridization, single-cell RT-PCR, and MOR-specific antibodies were used to characterize expression of MOR and DOR. Voltage-gated Ca currents and neuronal excitability were recorded in small diameter nociceptive neurons (capacitance &lt; 30pF) by patch clamp and ex vivo single-unit afferent recordings were obtained from the colon. In situ hybridization of oprm1 expression in Fast Blue-labeled DRG neurons was observed in 61% of neurons. MOR and DOR were expressed by 36-46% of colon DRG neurons, and co-expressed by ~25 % of neurons. MOR and DOR agonists inhibited Ca currents in DRG and these effects were blocked by opioid antagonists. One or both agonists inhibited action potential firing by colonic afferent endings. Incubation of neurons with supernatants from inflamed colon segments inhibited Ca currents and neuronal excitability. The MOR but not the DOR antagonist, inhibited the supernatant effects on Ca currents, whereas both antagonists inhibited their actions on neuronal excitability. A significant number of small diameter colonic nociceptors co-express MOR and DOR and are inhibited by agonists and endogenous opioids in inflamed tissues. Thus, opioids that act at MOR or DOR or their heterodimers may be effective in the treatment of visceral pain.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/bph.14222

Nanoscale, 10, 4320–4331
March, 2018

Super-resolution localization microscopy of radiation-induced histone H2AX-phosphorylation in relation to H3K9-trimethylation in HeLa cells.

Hausmann, Michael, Wagner, Emma, Lee, Jin-Ho, Schrock, Gerrit, Schaufler, Wladimir, Krufczik, Matthias, Papenfuß, Franziska, Port, Matthias, Bestvater, Felix, Scherthan, Harry

Ionizing radiation (IR)-induced damage confers functional and conformational changes to nuclear chromatin associated with DNA single and double strand breaks. This leads to the activation of complex DNA repair machineries that aim to preserve the integrity of the DNA molecule. Since hetero- and euchromatin are differentially accessible to DNA repair pathways, local chromatin re-arrangements and structural changes are among the consequences of an activated DNA damage response. Using super-resolution localization microscopy (SRLM), we investigated the X-ray-induced repositioning of γ-H2AX and histone H3K9me3 heterochromatin marks in the nuclei of HeLa cells. Aliquots of cells exposed to different IR doses (0.5, 1 and 2 Gy) were fixed at certain repair times for SRLM imaging. The number and size of nano-scale γ-H2AX molecule signal clusters detected increased with rising irradiation doses, with the number and size being the highest 0.5 h after irradiation. With growing repair time both the number and size of γ-H2AX nano-clusters decreased. Eight hours after irradiation, the number of clusters reached control levels, in agreement with the disappearance of most IR-induced foci seen by conventional microscopy. SRLM investigation of heterochromatin marks in spatial relation to γ-H2AX clusters showed that on average the heterochromatin density was high in the vicinity of γ-H2AX, which is in agreement with the observation that DSBs seem to relocate to the surface of heterochromatin clusters for DNA repair. The data demonstrate the potential of pointillist images obtained by SRLM for quantitative investigations of chromatin conformation changes and repair-protein recruitment on the nanoscale as measures for a radiation response.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1039/c7nr08145f

Nature communications, 9, 1048
March, 2018

Integrative genomic profiling of large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas reveals distinct subtypes of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors.

George, Julie, Walter, Vonn, Peifer, Martin, Alexandrov, Ludmil B, Seidel, Danila, Leenders, Frauke, Maas, Lukas, Müller, Christian, Dahmen, Ilona, Delhomme, Tiffany M, Ardin, Maude, Leblay, Noemie, Byrnes, Graham, Sun, Ruping, De Reynies, Aurélien, McLeer-Florin, Anne, Bosco, Graziella, Malchers, Florian, Menon, Roopika, Altmüller, Janine, Becker, Christian, Nürnberg, Peter, Achter, Viktor, Lang, Ulrich, Schneider, Peter M, Bogus, Magdalena, Soloway, Matthew G, Wilkerson, Matthew D, Cun, Yupeng, McKay, James D, Moro-Sibilot, Denis, Brambilla, Christian G, Lantuejoul, Sylvie, Lemaitre, Nicolas, Soltermann, Alex, Weder, Walter, Tischler, Verena, Brustugun, Odd Terje, Lund-Iversen, Marius, Helland, Åslaug, Solberg, Steinar, Ansén, Sascha, Wright, Gavin, Solomon, Benjamin, Roz, Luca, Pastorino, Ugo, Petersen, Iver, Clement, Joachim H, Sänger, Jörg, Wolf, Jürgen, Vingron, Martin, Zander, Thomas, Perner, Sven, Travis, William D, Haas, Stefan A, Olivier, Magali, Foll, Matthieu, Büttner, Reinhard, Hayes, David Neil, Brambilla, Elisabeth, Fernandez-Cuesta, Lynnette, Thomas, Roman K

Pulmonary large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNECs) have similarities with other lung cancers, but their precise relationship has remained unclear. Here we perform a comprehensive genomic (<em>n</em> = 60) and transcriptomic (<em>n</em> = 69) analysis of 75 LCNECs and identify two molecular subgroups: "type I LCNECs" with bi-allelic TP53 and STK11/KEAP1 alterations (37%), and "type II LCNECs" enriched for bi-allelic inactivation of TP53 and RB1 (42%). Despite sharing genomic alterations with adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, no transcriptional relationship was found; instead LCNECs form distinct transcriptional subgroups with closest similarity to SCLC. While type I LCNECs and SCLCs exhibit a neuroendocrine profile with ASCL1 /DLL3 /NOTCH , type II LCNECs bear TP53 and RB1 alterations and differ from most SCLC tumors with reduced neuroendocrine markers, a pattern of ASCL1 /DLL3 /NOTCH , and an upregulation of immune-related pathways. In conclusion, LCNECs comprise two molecularly defined subgroups, and distinguishing them from SCLC may allow stratified targeted treatment of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41467-018-03099-x

PloS one, 13, e0190970
March, 2018

Doxorubicin-provoked increase of mitotic activity and concomitant drain of G0-pool in therapy-resistant BE(2)-C neuroblastoma.

Hultman, Isabell, Haeggblom, Linnea, Rognmo, Ingvild, Jansson Edqvist, Josefin, Blomberg, Evelina, Ali, Rouknuddin, Phillips, Lottie, Sandstedt, Bengt, Kogner, Per, Shirazi Fard, Shahrzad, Ährlund-Richter, Lars

In this study chemotherapy response in neuroblastoma (NB) was assessed for the first time in a transplantation model comprising non-malignant human embryonic microenvironment of pluripotent stem cell teratoma (PSCT) derived from diploid bona fide hESC. Two NB cell lines with known high-risk phenotypes; the multi-resistant BE(2)-C and the drug sensitive IMR-32, were transplanted to the PSCT model and the tumour growth was exposed to single or repeated treatments with doxorubicin, and thereafter evaluated for cell death, apoptosis, and proliferation. Dose dependent cytotoxic effects were observed, this way corroborating the experimental platform for this type of analysis. Notably, analysis of doxorubicin-resilient BE(2)-C growth in the PSCT model revealed an unexpected 1,5-fold increase in Ki67-index (p&lt;0.05), indicating that non-cycling (G0) cells entered the cell cycle following the doxorubicin exposure. Support for this notion was obtained also in vitro. A pharmacologically relevant dose (1μM) resulted in a marked accumulation of Ki67 positive BE(2)-C cells (p&lt;0.0001), as well as a &gt;3-fold increase in active cell cycle (i.e. cells positive staining for PH3 together with incorporation of EdU) (p&lt;0.01). Considering the clinical challenge for treating high-risk NB, the discovery of a therapy-provoked growth-stimulating effect in the multi-resistant and p53-mutated BE(2)-C cell line, but not in the drug-sensitive p53wt IMR-32 cell line, warrants further studies concerning generality and clinical significance of this new observation.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0190970

Cancer genomics & proteomics, 15, 91–114
March, 2018

Characterization of Camptothecin-induced Genomic Changes in the Camptothecin-resistant T-ALL-derived Cell Line CPT-K5.

Kjeldsen, Eigil, Nielsen, Christine J F, Roy, Amit, Tesauro, Cinzia, Jakobsen, Ann-Katrine, Stougaard, Magnus, Knudsen, Birgitta R

Acquisition of resistance to topoisomerase I (TOP1)-targeting camptothecin (CPT) derivatives is a major clinical problem. Little is known about the underlying chromosomal and genomic mechanisms. We characterized the CPT-K5 cell line expressing mutant CPT-resistant TOP1 and its parental T-cell derived acute lymphoblastic leukemia CPT-sensitive RPMI-8402 cell line by karyotyping and molecular genetic methods, including subtractive oligo-based array comparative genomic hybridization (soaCGH) analysis. Karyotyping revealed that CPT-K5 cells had acquired additional structural aberrations and a reduced modal chromosomal number compared to RPMI-8402. soaCGH analysis identified vast copy number alterations and >200 unbalanced DNA breakpoints distributed unevenly across the chromosomal complement in CPT-K5. In addition, the short tandem repeat alleles were found to be highly different between CPT-K5 and its parental cell line. We identified copy number alterations affecting genes important for maintaining genome integrity and reducing CPT-induced DNA damage. We show for the first time that short tandem repeats are targets for TOP1 cleavage, that can be differentially stimulated by CPT.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.21873/cgp.20068

Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 55
March, 2018

Safety and Efficacy of Scanning Ultrasound Treatment of Aged APP23 Mice.

Leinenga, Gerhard, Götz, Jürgen

Deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide leads to amyloid plaques that together with tau deposits characterize the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In modeling this pathology, transgenic animals such as the APP23 strain, that expresses a mutant form of the amyloid precursor protein found in familial cases of AD, have been instrumental. In previous studies, we have shown that repeated treatments with ultrasound in a scanning mode (termed scanning ultrasound or SUS) were effective in removing Aβ and restoring memory functions, without the need for a therapeutic agent such as an Aβ antibody. Considering that age is the most important risk factor for AD, we extended this study in which the mice were only 12 months old at the time of treatment by assessing a cohort of 2 year-old mice. Interestingly, at this age, APP23 mice are characterized by cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and the presence of occasional microbleeds. We found that SUS in aged mice that have been exposed to four SUS sessions that were spread out over 8 weeks and analyzed 4 weeks later did not show evidence of increased CAA or microbleeds. Furthermore, amyloid was reduced as assessed by methoxy-XO4 fluorescence. In addition, plaque-associated microglia were more numerous in SUS treated mice. Together this adds to the notion that SUS may be a treatment modality for human neurodegenerative diseases.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3389/fnins.2018.00055