Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are abundant and heterogenous groups of integrated retroviral sequences that affect genome regulation and cell physiology throughout their RNA-centred life cycle. Failure to repress ERVs is associated with cancer, infertility, senescence and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, using an unbiased genome-scale CRISPR knockout screen in mouse embryonic stem cells, we identify mA RNA methylation as a way to restrict ERVs. Methylation of ERV mRNAs is catalysed by the complex of methyltransferase-like METTL3-METTL14 proteins, and we found that depletion of METTL3-METTL14, along with their accessory subunits WTAP and ZC3H13, led to increased mRNA abundance of intracisternal A-particles (IAPs) and related ERVK elements specifically, by targeting their 5′ untranslated region. Using controlled auxin-dependent degradation of the METTL3-METTL14 enzymatic complex, we showed that IAP mRNA and protein abundance is dynamically and inversely correlated with mA catalysis. By monitoring chromatin states and mRNA stability upon METTL3-METTL14 double depletion, we found that mA methylation mainly acts by reducing the half-life of IAP mRNA, and this occurs by the recruitment of the YTHDF family of mA reader proteins. Together, our results indicate that RNA methylation provides a protective effect in maintaining cellular integrity by clearing reactive ERV-derived RNA species, which may be especially important when transcriptional silencing is less stringent.
Ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers has been shown to decrease with longer duration of oral contraceptive use. Although the effects of using oral contraceptives in the general population are well established (approximately 50% risk reduction in ovarian cancer), the estimated risk reduction in mutation carriers is much less precise because of potential bias and small sample sizes. In addition, only a few studies on oral contraceptive use have examined the associations of duration of use, time since last use, starting age, and calendar year of start with risk of ovarian cancer.
Cutaneous melanoma is a multifactorial disease resulting from both environmental and genetic factors. Five susceptibility genes have been identified over the past years, comprising high-risk susceptibility genes (CDKN2A, CDK4, and BAP1 genes) and intermediate-risk susceptibility genes (MITF, and MC1R genes). The aim of this expert consensus was to define clinical contexts justifying genetic analyses, to describe the conduct of these analyses, and to propose surveillance recommendations. Given the regulatory constraints, it is recommended that dermatologists work in tandem with a geneticist. Genetic analysis may be prescribed when at least two episodes of histologically proven invasive cutaneous melanoma have been diagnosed before the age of 75 years in two 1st or 2nd degree relatives or in the same individual. The occurrence in the same individual or in a relative of invasive cutaneous melanoma with ocular melanoma, pancreatic cancer, renal cancer, mesothelioma or a central nervous system tumour are also indications for genetic testing. Management is based upon properly managed photoprotection and dermatological monitoring according to genetic status. Finally, depending on the mutated gene and the familial history, associated tumour risks require specific management (e.g. ocular melanoma, pancreatic cancer). Due to the rapid progress in genetics, these recommendations will need to be updated regularly.
Compelling biological and epidemiological evidences point to a key role of genetic variants of the TERT and TERC genes in cancer development. We analyzed the genetic variability of these two gene regions using samples of 2,267 multiple myeloma (MM) cases and 2,796 healthy controls. We found that a TERT variant, rs2242652, is associated with reduced MM susceptibility (OR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.72-0.92; p = 0.001). In addition we measured the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a subgroup of 140 cases who were chemotherapy-free at the time of blood donation and 468 controls, and found that MM patients had longer telomeres compared to controls (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 0.63-2.24; p(trend) = 0.01 comparing the quartile with the longest LTL versus the shortest LTL). Our data suggest the hypothesis of decreased disease risk by genetic variants that reduce the efficiency of the telomerase complex. This reduced efficiency leads to shorter telomere ends, which in turn may also be a marker of decreased MM risk.
French Polynesia has one of the highest incidence rates of thyroid cancer worldwide. Relationships with the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests and other environmental, biological, or behavioral factors have already been reported, but genetic susceptibility has yet to be investigated. We assessed the contribution of polymorphisms at the 9q22.33 and 14q13.3 loci identified by GWAS, and within the DNA repair gene ATM, to the risk of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in 177 cases and 275 matched controls from the native population.
The incidence of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) in Cuba is low and the contribution of host genetic factors to DTC in this population has not been investigated so far. Our goal was to assess the role of known risk polymorphisms in DTC cases living in Havana. We genotyped five polymorphisms located at the DTC susceptibility loci on chromosome 14q13.3 near NK2 homeobox 1 (NKX2-1), on chromosome 9q22.33 near Forkhead factor E1 (FOXE1) and within the DNA repair gene Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) in 203 cases and 212 age- and sex- matched controls. Potential interactions between these polymorphisms and other DTC risk factors such as body surface area, body mass index, size, ethnicity, and, for women, the parity were also examined.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been suggested to be a risk factor for multiple myeloma (MM), but the relationship between the two traits is still not well understood. The aims of this study were to evaluate whether 58 genome-wide-association-studies (GWAS)-identified common variants for T2D influence the risk of developing MM and to determine whether predictive models built with these variants might help to predict the disease risk. We conducted a case-control study including 1420 MM patients and 1858 controls ascertained through the International Multiple Myeloma (IMMEnSE) consortium. Subjects carrying the KCNQ1rs2237892T allele or the CDKN2A-2Brs2383208G/G, IGF1rs35767T/T and MADDrs7944584T/T genotypes had a significantly increased risk of MM (odds ratio (OR)=1.32-2.13) whereas those carrying the KCNJ11rs5215C, KCNJ11rs5219T and THADArs7578597C alleles or the FTOrs8050136A/A and LTArs1041981C/C genotypes showed a significantly decreased risk of developing the disease (OR=0.76-0.85). Interestingly, a prediction model including those T2D-related variants associated with the risk of MM showed a significantly improved discriminatory ability to predict the disease when compared to a model without genetic information (area under the curve (AUC)=0.645 vs AUC=0.629; P=4.05×10(-) (06)). A gender-stratified analysis also revealed a significant gender effect modification for ADAM30rs2641348 and NOTCH2rs10923931 variants (Pinteraction=0.001 and 0.0004, respectively). Men carrying the ADAM30rs2641348C and NOTCH2rs10923931T alleles had a significantly decreased risk of MM whereas an opposite but not significant effect was observed in women (ORM=0.71 and ORM=0.66 vs ORW=1.22 and ORW=1.15, respectively). These results suggest that TD2-related variants may influence the risk of developing MM and their genotyping might help to improve MM risk prediction models.
Type 1 conventional dendritic (cDC1) cells are necessary for cross-presentation of many viral and tumor antigens to CD8 T cells. cDC1 cells can be identified in mice and humans by high expression of DNGR-1 (also known as CLEC9A), a receptor that binds dead-cell debris and facilitates XP of corpse-associated antigens. Here, we show that DNGR-1 is a dedicated XP receptor that signals upon ligand engagement to promote phagosomal rupture. This allows escape of phagosomal contents into the cytosol, where they access the endogenous major histocompatibility complex class I antigen processing pathway. The activity of DNGR-1 maps to its signaling domain, which activates SYK and NADPH oxidase to cause phagosomal damage even when spliced into a heterologous receptor and expressed in heterologous cells. Our data reveal the existence of innate immune receptors that couple ligand binding to endocytic vesicle damage to permit MHC class I antigen presentation of exogenous antigens and to regulate adaptive immunity.
‘s venom has shown immunomodulation of cytokines release in mice and selective cytotoxicity on cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner, highlighting an anticancer potential. Here, we extend these findings by elucidating the sensitivity of murine B16 skin melanoma and 3-MCA-induced murine fibrosarcoma cell lines to ‘s venom and its effect on tumor growth in vivo.
During thymic development and upon peripheral activation, T cells undergo extensive phenotypic and functional changes coordinated by lineage-specific developmental programs. To characterize the regulatory landscape controlling T cell identity, we perform a wide epigenomic and transcriptional analysis of mouse thymocytes and naive CD4 differentiated T helper cells. Our investigations reveal a dynamic putative enhancer landscape, and we could validate many of the enhancers using the high-throughput CapStarr sequencing (CapStarr-seq) approach. We find that genes using multiple promoters display increased enhancer usage, suggesting that apparent « enhancer redundancy » might relate to isoform selection. Furthermore, we can show that two Runx3 promoters display long-range interactions with specific enhancers. Finally, our analyses suggest a novel function for the PRC2 complex in the control of alternative promoter usage. Altogether, our study has allowed for the mapping of an exhaustive set of active enhancers and provides new insights into their function and that of PRC2 in controlling promoter choice during T cell differentiation.
Genetic factors may influence an individual’s sensitivity to ionising radiation and therefore modify his/her risk of developing papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Previously, we reported that common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the DNA damage recognition gene ATM contribute to PTC risk in Belarusian children exposed to fallout from the Chernobyl power plant accident. Here we explored in the same population the contribution of a panel of DNA repair-related SNPs in genes acting downstream of ATM.
Most common breast cancer susceptibility variants have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of predominantly estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease. We conducted a GWAS using 21,468 ER-negative cases and 100,594 controls combined with 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer), all of European origin. We identified independent associations at P < 5 × 10 with ten variants at nine new loci. At P < 0.05, we replicated associations with 10 of 11 variants previously reported in ER-negative disease or BRCA1 mutation carrier GWAS and observed consistent associations with ER-negative disease for 105 susceptibility variants identified by other studies. These 125 variants explain approximately 16% of the familial risk of this breast cancer subtype. There was high genetic correlation (0.72) between risk of ER-negative breast cancer and breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers. These findings may lead to improved risk prediction and inform further fine-mapping and functional work to better understand the biological basis of ER-negative breast cancer.
The clinical management of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers requires accurate, prospective cancer risk estimates.
Recent studies have linked constitutive telomere length (TL) to aging-related diseases including cancer at different sites. ATM participates in the signaling of telomere erosion, and inherited mutations in ATM have been associated with increased risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer. The goal of this study was to investigate whether carriage of an ATM mutation and TL interplay to modify cancer risk in ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) families.The study population consisted of 284 heterozygous ATM mutation carriers (HetAT) and 174 non-carriers (non-HetAT) from 103 A-T families. Forty-eight HetAT and 14 non-HetAT individuals had cancer, among them 25 HetAT and 6 non-HetAT were diagnosed after blood sample collection. We measured mean TL using a quantitative PCR assay and genotyped seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) recurrently associated with TL in large population-based studies.HetAT individuals were at increased risk of cancer (OR = 2.3, 95%CI = 1.2-4.4, P = 0.01), and particularly of breast cancer for women (OR = 2.9, 95%CI = 1.2-7.1, P = 0.02), in comparison to their non-HetAT relatives. HetAT individuals had longer telomeres than non-HetAT individuals (P = 0.0008) but TL was not associated with cancer risk, and no significant interaction was observed between ATM mutation status and TL. Furthermore, rs9257445 (ZNF311) was associated with TL in HetAT subjects and rs6060627 (BCL2L1) modified cancer risk in HetAT and non-HetAT women.Our findings suggest that carriage of an ATM mutation impacts on the age-related TL shortening and that TL per se is not related to cancer risk in ATM carriers. TL measurement alone is not a good marker for predicting cancer risk in A-T families.
Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified approximately 35 loci associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk. The majority of GWAS-identified disease susceptibility variants are located in noncoding regions, and causal genes underlying these associations remain largely unknown. Here, we performed a transcriptome-wide association study to search for novel genetic loci and plausible causal genes at known GWAS loci. We used RNA sequencing data (68 normal ovarian tissue samples from 68 individuals and 6,124 cross-tissue samples from 369 individuals) and high-density genotyping data from European descendants of the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx V6) project to build ovarian and cross-tissue models of genetically regulated expression using elastic net methods. We evaluated 17,121 genes for their -predicted gene expression in relation to EOC risk using summary statistics data from GWAS of 97,898 women, including 29,396 EOC cases. With a Bonferroni-corrected significance level of < 2.2 × 10, we identified 35 genes, including at 11q14.2 (Z = 5.08, = 3.83 × 10, the cross-tissue model; 1 Mb away from any GWAS-identified EOC risk variant), a potential novel locus for EOC risk. All other 34 significantly associated genes were located within 1 Mb of known GWAS-identified loci, including 23 genes at 6 loci not previously linked to EOC risk. Upon conditioning on nearby known EOC GWAS-identified variants, the associations for 31 genes disappeared and three genes remained ( < 1.47 × 10). These data identify one novel locus ) and 34 genes at 13 known EOC risk loci associated with EOC risk, providing new insights into EOC carcinogenesis. Transcriptomic analysis of a large cohort confirms earlier GWAS loci and reveals FZD4 as a novel locus associated with EOC risk. .
The 3′-end processing of most pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs) involves RNA cleavage and polyadenylation and is coupled to transcription termination. In both yeast and human cells, pre-mRNA 3′-end cleavage is globally inhibited by DNA damage. Recently, further links between pre-mRNA 3′-end processing and the control of genome stability have been uncovered, as reviewed here. Upon DNA damage, various genes related to the DNA damage response (DDR) escape 3′-end processing inhibition or are regulated through alternative polyadenylation (APA). Conversely, various pre-mRNA 3′-end processing factors prevent genome instability and are found at sites of DNA damage. Finally, the reciprocal link between pre-mRNA 3′-end processing and genome stability control seems important because it is conserved in evolution and involved in disease development.
Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of cancer. The tumor suppressor protein BRCA2 performs an important role in the maintenance of genome integrity particularly in interphase; as a mediator of homologous recombination DNA repair pathway, it participates in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks, inter-strand crosslinks and replicative DNA lesions. BRCA2 also protects stalled replication forks from aberrant degradation. Defects in these functions lead to structural chromosomal aberrations. BRCA2 is a large protein containing highly disordered regions that are heavily phosphorylated particularly in mitosis. The functions of these modifications are getting elucidated and reveal emerging activities in chromosome alignment, chromosome segregation and abscission during cell division. Defects in these activities result in numerical chromosomal aberrations. In addition to BRCA2, other factors of the DNA damage response (DDR) participate in mitosis in close association with cell cycle kinases and phosphatases suggesting that the maintenance of genome integrity functions of these factors extends beyond DNA repair. Here we will discuss the regulation of BRCA2 functions through phosphorylation by cell cycle kinases particularly in mitosis, and illustrate with some examples how BRCA2 and other DDR proteins partially rewire their interactions, essentially via phosphorylation, to fulfill mitotic specific functions that ensure chromosome stability.
There are both limited and conflicting data on the role of dietary fat and specific fatty acids in the development of pancreatic cancer. In this study, we investigated the association between plasma phospholipid fatty acids and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. The fatty acid composition was measured by gas chromatography in plasma samples collected at recruitment from375 incident pancreatic cancer cases and375 matched controls. Associations of specific fatty acids with pancreatic cancer risk were evaluated using multivariable conditional logistic regression models with adjustment for established pancreatic cancer risk factors. Statistically significant inverse associations were found between pancreatic cancer incidence and levels of heptadecanoic acid (OR [odds ratio for highest versus lowest tertile] =0.63; 95%CI[confidence interval] = 0.41-0.98; p = 0.036), n-3 polyunsaturated α-linolenic acid (OR = 0.60; 95%CI = 0.39-0.92; p = 0.02) and docosapentaenoic acid (OR = 0.52; 95%CI = 0.32-0.85; p = 0.008). Industrial trans-fatty acids were positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk among men (OR = 3.00; 95%CI = 1.13-7.99; p = 0.029), while conjugated linoleic acids were inversely related to pancreatic cancer among women only (OR = 0.37; 95%CI = 0.17-0.81; p = 0.008). Among current smokers, the long-chain n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids ratio was positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk (OR = 3.40; 95%CI = 1.39-8.34; p = 0.007). Results were robust to a range of sensitivity analyses. Our findings suggest that higher circulating levels of saturated fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be related to lower risk of pancreatic cancer. The influence of some fatty acids on the development of pancreatic cancer may be sex-specific and modulated by smoking.
The prevalence and spectrum of germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been reported in single populations, with the majority of reports focused on White in Europe and North America. The Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) has assembled data on 18,435 families with BRCA1 mutations and 11,351 families with BRCA2 mutations ascertained from 69 centers in 49 countries on six continents. This study comprehensively describes the characteristics of the 1,650 unique BRCA1 and 1,731 unique BRCA2 deleterious (disease-associated) mutations identified in the CIMBA database. We observed substantial variation in mutation type and frequency by geographical region and race/ethnicity. In addition to known founder mutations, mutations of relatively high frequency were identified in specific racial/ethnic or geographic groups that may reflect founder mutations and which could be used in targeted (panel) first pass genotyping for specific populations. Knowledge of the population-specific mutational spectrum in BRCA1 and BRCA2 could inform efficient strategies for genetic testing and may justify a more broad-based oncogenetic testing in some populations.