Microarrays2016, 5(2), 13; doi:10.3390/microarrays5020013 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Metastasis is the major cause of cancer deaths and control of gene transcription has emerged as a critical contributing factor. RhoA- and RhoC-induced gene transcription via the actin-regulated transcriptional co-activator megakaryocytic leukemia (MKL) and serum response factor (SRF) drive metastasis in breast cancer and melanoma. We recently identified a compound, CCG-1423, which blocks Rho/MKL/SRF-mediated transcription and inhibits PC-3 prostate cancer cell invasion. Here, we undertook a genome-wide expression study in PC-3 cells to explore the mechanism and function of this compound. There was significant overlap in the genes modulated by CCG-1423 and Latrunculin B (Lat B), which blocks the Rho/MKL/SRF pathway by preventing actin polymerization. In contrast, the general transcription inhibitor 5,6-dichloro-1-β-d-ribofuranosyl-1H-benzimidazole (DRB) showed a markedly different pattern. Effects of CCG-1423 and Lat B on gene expression correlated with literature studies of MKL knock-down. Gene sets involved in DNA synthesis and repair, G1/S transition, and apoptosis were modulated by CCG-1423. It also upregulated genes involved in endoplasmic reticulum stress. Targets of the known Rho target transcription factor family E2F and genes related to melanoma progression and metastasis were strongly suppressed by CCG-1423. These results confirm the ability of our compound to inhibit expression of numerous Rho/MKL-dependent genes and show effects on stress pathways as well. This suggests a novel approach to targeting aggressive cancers and metastasis.
Microarrays2016, 5(2), 12; doi:10.3390/microarrays5020012 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As recognised by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), microarray technology currently provides a rapid, inexpensive means of identifying large numbers of known genomic variants or gene transcripts in experimental and clinical settings. However new generation sequencing techniques are now being introduced in many clinical genetic contexts, particularly where novel mutations are involved. While these methods can be valuable for screening a restricted set of genes for known or novel mutations, implementation of whole genome sequencing in clinical practice continues to present challenges. Even very accurate high-throughput methods with small error rates can generate large numbers of false negative or false positive errors due to the high numbers of simultaneous readings. Additional validation is likely to be required for safe use of any such methods in clinical settings. Custom-designed arrays can offer advantages for screening for common, known mutations and, in this context, may currently be better suited for accredited, quality-controlled clinical genetic screening services, as illustrated by their successful application in several large-scale pre-emptive pharmacogenomics programs now underway. Excessive, inappropriate use of next-generation sequencing may waste scarce research funds and other resources. Microarrays presently remain the technology of choice in applications that require fast, cost-effective genome-wide screening of variants of known importance, particularly for large sample sizes. This commentary considers some of the applications where microarrays continue to offer advantages over next-generation sequencing technologies.
Abstract: Living cell microarrays are a highly efficient cellular screening system. Due to the low number of cells required per spot, cell microarrays enable the use of primary and stem cells and provide resolution close to the single-cell level. Apart from a variety of conventional static designs, microfluidic microarray systems have also been established. An alternative format is a microarray consisting of three-dimensional cell constructs ranging from cell spheroids to cells encapsulated in hydrogel. These systems provide an in vivo-like microenvironment and are preferably used for the investigation of cellular physiology, cytotoxicity, and drug screening. Thus, many different high-tech microarray platforms are currently available. Disadvantages of many systems include their high cost, the requirement of specialized equipment for their manufacture, and the poor comparability of results between different platforms. In this article, we provide an overview of static, microfluidic, and 3D cell microarrays. In addition, we describe a simple method for the printing of living cell microarrays on modified microscope glass slides using standard DNA microarray equipment available in most laboratories. Applications in research and diagnostics are discussed, e.g., the selective and sensitive detection of biomarkers. Finally, we highlight current limitations and the future prospects of living cell microarrays.
Abstract: Background: The tumor microenvironment participates in the regulation of tumor progression and influences treatment sensitivity. In breast cancer, it also may play a role in determining the fate of non-invasive lesions such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-obligate precursor of invasive diseases, which is aggressively treated despite its indolent nature in many patients since no biomarkers are available to predict the progression of DCIS to invasive disease. In vitro models of stromal activation by breast tumor cells might provide clues as to specific stromal genes crucial for the transition from DCIS to invasive disease. Methods: normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF) were treated under serum-free conditions with cell culture media conditioned by breast cancer cell lines (SkBr3, MDA-MB-468, T47D) for 72 h and subjected to gene expression profiling with Illumina platform. Results: TGM2, coding for a tissue transglutaminase, was identified as candidate gene for stromal activation. In public transcriptomic datasets of invasive breast tumors TGM2 expression proved to provide prognostic information. Conversely, its role as an early biosensor of tumor invasiveness needs to be further investigated by in situ analyses. Conclusion: Stromal TGM2 might probably be associated with precancerous evolution at earlier stages compared to DCIS.
Abstract: Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is maintained in nature in a cycle involving a tick vector and a mammalian host. Adaptation to the diverse conditions of temperature, pH, oxygen tension and nutrient availability in these two environments requires the precise orchestration of gene expression. Over 25 microarray analyses relating to B. burgdorferi genomics and transcriptomics have been published. The majority of these studies has explored the global transcriptome under a variety of conditions and has contributed substantially to the current understanding of B. burgdorferi transcriptional regulation. In this review, we present a summary of these studies with particular focus on those that helped define the roles of transcriptional regulators in modulating gene expression in the tick and mammalian milieus. By performing comparative analysis of results derived from the published microarray expression profiling studies, we identified composite gene lists comprising differentially expressed genes in these two environments. Further, we explored the overlap between the regulatory circuits that function during the tick and mammalian phases of the enzootic cycle. Taken together, the data indicate that there is interplay among the distinct signaling pathways that function in feeding ticks and during adaptation to growth in the mammal.
Abstract: Cell fate decisions like apoptosis are heterogeneously implemented within a cell population and, consequently, the population response is recognized as sum of many individual dynamic events. Here, we report on the use of micro-patterned single-cell arrays for real-time tracking of nanoparticle-induced (NP) cell death in sets of thousands of cells in parallel. Annexin (pSIVA) and propidium iodide (PI), two fluorescent indicators of apoptosis, are simultaneously monitored after exposure to functionalized polystyrene () nanobeads as a model system. We find that the distribution of Annexin onset times shifts to later times and broadens as a function of decreasing NP dose. We discuss the mean time-to-death as a function of dose, and show how the value depends both on dose and time of measurement. In addition, the correlations between the early and late apoptotic markers indicate a systematic shift from apoptotic towards necrotic cell death during the course of the experiment. Thus, our work demonstrates the potential of array-based single cell cytometry for kinetic analysis of signaling cascades in a high-throughput format.