Publications by authors named "Benjamin Haley"

67 Publications

Integration of innate immune signalling by caspase-8 cleavage of N4BP1.

Nature 2020 11 24;587(7833):275-280. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Mutations in the death receptor FAS or its ligand FASL cause autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, whereas mutations in caspase-8 or its adaptor FADD-which mediate cell death downstream of FAS and FASL-cause severe immunodeficiency in addition to autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome. Mouse models have corroborated a role for FADD-caspase-8 in promoting inflammatory responses, but the mechanisms that underlie immunodeficiency remain undefined. Here we identify NEDD4-binding protein 1 (N4BP1) as a suppressor of cytokine production that is cleaved and inactivated by caspase-8. N4BP1 deletion in mice increased the production of select cytokines upon stimulation of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)1-TLR2 heterodimer (referred to herein as TLR1/2), TLR7 or TLR9, but not upon engagement of TLR3 or TLR4. N4BP1 did not suppress TLR3 or TLR4 responses in wild-type macrophages, owing to TRIF- and caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1. Notably, the impaired production of cytokines in response to TLR3 and TLR4 stimulation of caspase-8-deficient macrophages was largely rescued by co-deletion of N4BP1. Thus, the persistence of intact N4BP1 in caspase-8-deficient macrophages impairs their ability to mount robust cytokine responses. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF), like TLR3 or TLR4 agonists, also induced caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1, thereby licensing TRIF-independent TLRs to produce higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, our results identify N4BP1 as a potent suppressor of cytokine responses; reveal N4BP1 cleavage by caspase-8 as a point of signal integration during inflammation; and offer an explanation for immunodeficiency caused by mutations of FADD and caspase-8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2796-5DOI Listing
November 2020

Domain-Specific Antibodies Reveal Differences in the Membrane Topologies of Apolipoprotein L1 in Serum and Podocytes.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2020 09 6;31(9):2065-2082. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech, South San Francisco, California

Background: Circulating APOL1 lyses trypanosomes, protecting against human sleeping sickness. Two common African gene variants of , G1 and G2, protect against infection by species of trypanosomes that resist wild-type APOL1. At the same time, the protection predisposes humans to CKD, an elegant example of balanced polymorphism. However, the exact mechanism of APOL1-mediated podocyte damage is not clear, including APOL1's subcellular localization, topology, and whether the damage is related to trypanolysis.

Methods: APOL1 topology in serum (HDL particles) and in kidney podocytes was mapped with flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, and trypanolysis assays that tracked 170 APOL1 domain-specific monoclonal antibodies. knockout podocytes confirmed antibody specificity.

Results: APOL1 localizes to the surface of podocytes, with most of the pore-forming domain (PFD) and C terminus of the Serum Resistance Associated-interacting domain (SRA-ID), but not the membrane-addressing domain (MAD), being exposed. In contrast, differential trypanolytic blocking activity reveals that the MAD is exposed in serum APOL1, with less of the PFD accessible. Low pH did not detectably alter the gross topology of APOL1, as determined by antibody accessibility, in serum or on podocytes.

Conclusions: Our antibodies highlighted different conformations of native APOL1 topology in serum (HDL particles) and at the podocyte surface. Our findings support the surface ion channel model for APOL1 risk variant-mediated podocyte injury, as well as providing domain accessibility information for designing APOL1-targeted therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2019080830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7461681PMC
September 2020

UBR E3 ligases and the PDIA3 protease control degradation of unfolded antibody heavy chain by ERAD.

J Cell Biol 2020 07;219(7)

Cell Culture and Bioprocess Operations Department, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA.

Accumulation of unfolded antibody chains in the ER triggers ER stress that may lead to reduced productivity in therapeutic antibody manufacturing processes. We identified UBR4 and UBR5 as ubiquitin E3 ligases involved in HC ER-associated degradation. Knockdown of UBR4 and UBR5 resulted in intracellular accumulation, enhanced secretion, and reduced ubiquitination of HC. In concert with these E3 ligases, PDIA3 was shown to cleave ubiquitinated HC molecules to accelerate HC dislocation. Interestingly, UBR5, and to a lesser degree UBR4, were down-regulated as cellular demand for antibody expression increased in CHO cells during the production phase, or in plasma B cells. Reducing UBR4/UBR5 expression before the production phase increased antibody productivity in CHO cells, possibly by redirecting antibody molecules from degradation to secretion. Altogether we have characterized a novel proteolysis/proteasome-dependent pathway involved in degradation of unfolded antibody HC. Proteins characterized in this pathway may be novel targets for CHO cell engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201908087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7337499PMC
July 2020

Insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) expressed by Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells is responsible for degradation of insulin in culture media.

J Biotechnol 2020 Aug 8;320:44-49. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Cell Culture and Bioprocess Operations (CCBO) Department, Genentech, Inc. 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, United States. Electronic address:

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells cultured in serum-free chemically-defined media (CDM) are used for manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. Growth factors, such as insulin are commonly utilized in manufacturing platforms to enhance CHO cell viability and growth. Here we report that insulin is degraded in the culture media over time mainly due to the activity of the insulin degrading enzyme (IDE). Insulin degradation was faster in cell lines that released more IDE, which negatively impacted cell growth and in turn, production titers. Deletion of the IDE gene in a representative CHO cell line nearly abolished insulin degradation in seed train and end-of-production media. In summary, our data suggests that selecting cell lines that have lower IDE expression or targeted-deletion of the IDE gene can improve culture viability and growth for insulin-dependent CHO production platforms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2020.04.016DOI Listing
August 2020

Functional Genomics for Cancer Drug Target Discovery.

Cancer Cell 2020 07 21;38(1):31-43. Epub 2020 May 21.

Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development, Roche Innovation Center Basel, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel 4070, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Functional genomics describes a field of biology that uses a range of approaches for assessing gene function with high-throughput molecular, genetic, and cellular technologies. The near limitless potential for applying these concepts to study the activities of all genetic loci has completely upended how today's cancer biologists tackle drug target discovery. We provide an overview of contemporary functional genomics platforms, highlighting areas of distinction and complementarity across technologies, so as to aid in the development or interpretation of cancer-focused screening efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2020.04.006DOI Listing
July 2020

Efficient gene knockout in primary human and murine myeloid cells by non-viral delivery of CRISPR-Cas9.

J Exp Med 2020 07;217(7)

Department of Cancer Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA.

Myeloid cells play critical and diverse roles in mammalian physiology, including tissue development and repair, innate defense against pathogens, and generation of adaptive immunity. As cells that show prolonged recruitment to sites of injury or pathology, myeloid cells represent therapeutic targets for a broad range of diseases. However, few approaches have been developed for gene editing of these cell types, likely owing to their sensitivity to foreign genetic material or virus-based manipulation. Here we describe optimized strategies for gene disruption in primary myeloid cells of human and murine origin. Using nucleofection-based delivery of Cas9-ribonuclear proteins (RNPs), we achieved near population-level genetic knockout of single and multiple targets in a range of cell types without selection or enrichment. Importantly, we show that cellular fitness and response to immunological stimuli is not significantly impacted by the gene editing process. This provides a significant advance in the study of myeloid cell biology, thus enabling pathway discovery and drug target validation across species in the field of innate immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20191692DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336301PMC
July 2020

Mutation position is an important determinant for predicting cancer neoantigens.

J Exp Med 2020 04;217(4)

Genentech, South San Francisco, CA.

Tumor-specific mutations can generate neoantigens that drive CD8 T cell responses against cancer. Next-generation sequencing and computational methods have been successfully applied to identify mutations and predict neoantigens. However, only a small fraction of predicted neoantigens are immunogenic. Currently, predicted peptide binding affinity for MHC-I is often the major criterion for prioritizing neoantigens, although little progress has been made toward understanding the precise functional relationship between affinity and immunogenicity. We therefore systematically assessed the immunogenicity of peptides containing single amino acid mutations in mouse tumor models and divided them into two classes of immunogenic mutations. The first comprises mutations at a nonanchor residue, for which we find that the predicted absolute binding affinity is predictive of immunogenicity. The second involves mutations at an anchor residue; here, predicted relative affinity (compared with the WT counterpart) is a better predictor. Incorporating these features into an immunogenicity model significantly improves neoantigen ranking. Importantly, these properties of neoantigens are also predictive in human datasets, suggesting that they can be used to prioritize neoantigens for individualized neoantigen-specific immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20190179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144530PMC
April 2020

S100a4 upregulation in Pik3caH1047R;Trp53R270H;MMTV-Cre-driven mammary tumors promotes metastasis.

Breast Cancer Res 2019 12 27;21(1):152. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech Inc, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

Background: PIK3CA mutations are frequent in human breast cancer. Pik3caH1047R mutant expression in mouse mammary gland promotes tumorigenesis. TP53 mutations co-occur with PIK3CA mutations in human breast cancers. We previously generated a conditionally activatable Pik3caH1047R;MMTV-Cre mouse model and found a few malignant sarcomatoid (spindle cell) carcinomas that had acquired spontaneous dominant-negative Trp53 mutations.

Methods: A Pik3caH1047R;Trp53R270H;MMTV-Cre double mutant mouse breast cancer model was generated. Tumors were characterized by histology, marker analysis, transcriptional profiling, single-cell RNA-seq, and bioinformatics. Cell lines were developed from mutant tumors and used to identify and confirm genes involved in metastasis.

Results: We found Pik3caH1047R and Trp53R270H cooperate in driving oncogenesis in mammary glands leading to a shorter latency than either alone. Double mutant mice develop multiple histologically distinct mammary tumors, including adenocarcinoma and sarcomatoid (spindle cell) carcinoma. We found some tumors to be invasive and a few metastasized to the lung and/or the lymph node. Single-cell RNA-seq analysis of the tumors identified epithelial, stromal, myeloid, and T cell groups. Expression analysis of the metastatic tumors identified S100a4 as a top candidate gene associated with metastasis. Metastatic tumors contained a much higher percentage of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-signature positive and S100a4-expressing cells. CRISPR/CAS9-mediated knockout of S100a4 in a metastatic tumor-derived cell line disrupted its metastatic potential indicating a role for S100a4 in metastasis.

Conclusions: Pik3caH1047R;Trp53R270H;MMTV-Cre mouse provides a preclinical model to mimic a subtype of human breast cancers that carry both PIK3CA and TP53 mutations. It also allows for understanding the cooperation between the two mutant genes in tumorigenesis. Our model also provides a system to study metastasis and develop therapeutic strategies for PIK3CA/TP53 double-positive cancers. S100a4 found involved in metastasis in this model can be a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-019-1238-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935129PMC
December 2019

Endothelial intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 contributes to cell aggregate formation in CHO cells cultured in serum-free media.

Biotechnol Prog 2020 05 2;36(3):e2951. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Cell Culture Department, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California.

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells have been adapted to grow in serum-free media and in suspension culture to facilitate manufacturing needs. Some CHO cell lines, however, tend to form cell aggregates while being cultured in suspension. This can result in reduced viability and capacity for single cell cloning (SCC) via limiting dilution, and process steps to mitigate cell aggregate formation, for example, addition of anti-cell-aggregation agents. In this study, we have identified endothelial intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) as a key protein promoting cell aggregate formation in a production competent CHO cell line, which is prone to cell aggregate formation. Knocking out (KO) the ICAM-1 gene significantly decreased cell aggregate formation in the culture media without anti-cell-aggregation reagent. This trait can simplify the process of transfection, selection, automated clone isolation, and so on. Evaluation in standard cell line development of ICAM-1 KO and wild-type CHO hosts did not reveal any noticeable impacts on titer or product quality. Furthermore, analysis of a derived nonaggregating cell line showed significant reductions in expression of cell adhesion proteins. Overall, our data suggest that deletion of ICAM-1 and perhaps other cell adhesion proteins can reduce cell aggregate formation and improve clonality assurance during SCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/btpr.2951DOI Listing
May 2020

ERBB3 and IGF1R Signaling Are Required for Nrf2-Dependent Growth in KEAP1-Mutant Lung Cancer.

Cancer Res 2019 Oct 15;79(19):4828-4839. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Department of Discovery Oncology.

Mutations in and (encoding the protein Nrf2) are prevalent in both adeno and squamous subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer, as well as additional tumor indications. The consequence of these mutations is stabilized Nrf2 and chronic induction of a battery of Nrf2 target genes. We show that knockdown of Nrf2 caused modest growth inhibition of cells growing in two-dimension, which was more pronounced in cell lines expressing mutant KEAP1. In contrast, Nrf2 knockdown caused almost complete regression of established KEAP1-mutant tumors in mice, with little effect on wild-type (WT) KEAP1 tumors. The strong dependency on Nrf2 could be recapitulated in certain anchorage-independent growth environments and was not prevented by excess extracellular glutathione. A CRISPR screen was used to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying this dependence. We identified alternative pathways critical for Nrf2-dependent growth in KEAP1-mutant cell lines, including the redox proteins thioredoxin and peroxiredoxin, as well as the growth factor receptors IGF1R and ERBB3. IGF1R inhibition was effective in KEAP1-mutant cells compared with WT, especially under conditions of anchorage-independent growth. These results point to addiction of KEAP1-mutant tumor cells to Nrf2 and suggest that inhibition of Nrf2 or discrete druggable Nrf2 target genes such as IGF1R could be an effective therapeutic strategy for disabling these tumors. SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies pathways activated by Nrf2 that are important for the proliferation and tumorigenicity of KEAP1-mutant non-small cell lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2086DOI Listing
October 2019

Disruption of IRE1α through its kinase domain attenuates multiple myeloma.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 08 1;116(33):16420-16429. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Cancer Immunology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080;

Multiple myeloma (MM) arises from malignant immunoglobulin (Ig)-secreting plasma cells and remains an incurable, often lethal disease despite therapeutic advances. The unfolded-protein response sensor IRE1α supports protein secretion by deploying a kinase-endoribonuclease module to activate the transcription factor XBP1s. MM cells may co-opt the IRE1α-XBP1s pathway; however, the validity of IRE1α as a potential MM therapeutic target is controversial. Genetic disruption of IRE1α or XBP1s, or pharmacologic IRE1α kinase inhibition, attenuated subcutaneous or orthometastatic growth of MM tumors in mice and augmented efficacy of two established frontline antimyeloma agents, bortezomib and lenalidomide. Mechanistically, IRE1α perturbation inhibited expression of key components of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation machinery, as well as secretion of Ig light chains and of cytokines and chemokines known to promote MM growth. Selective IRE1α kinase inhibition reduced viability of CD138 plasma cells while sparing CD138 cells derived from bone marrows of newly diagnosed or posttreatment-relapsed MM patients, in both US- and European Union-based cohorts. Effective IRE1α inhibition preserved glucose-induced insulin secretion by pancreatic microislets and viability of primary hepatocytes in vitro, as well as normal tissue homeostasis in mice. These results establish a strong rationale for developing kinase-directed inhibitors of IRE1α for MM therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906999116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6697881PMC
August 2019

IRF2 transcriptionally induces expression for pyroptosis.

Sci Signal 2019 05 21;12(582). Epub 2019 May 21.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Gasdermin-D (GSDMD) is cleaved by caspase-1, caspase-4, and caspase-11 in response to canonical and noncanonical inflammasome activation. Upon cleavage, GSDMD oligomerizes and forms plasma membrane pores, resulting in interleukin-1β (IL-1β) secretion, pyroptotic cell death, and inflammatory pathologies, including periodic fever syndromes and septic shock-a plague on modern medicine. Here, we showed that IRF2, a member of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family of transcription factors, was essential for the transcriptional activation of A forward genetic screen with -ethyl--nitrosourea (ENU)-mutagenized mice linked IRF2 to inflammasome signaling. expression was substantially attenuated in deficient macrophages, endothelial cells, and multiple tissues, which corresponded with reduced IL-1β secretion and inhibited pyroptosis. Mechanistically, IRF2 bound to a previously uncharacterized but unique site within the promoter to directly drive transcription for the execution of pyroptosis. Disruption of this single IRF2-binding site abolished signaling by both the canonical and noncanonical inflammasomes. Together, our data illuminate a key transcriptional mechanism for expression of the gene encoding GSDMD, a critical mediator of inflammatory pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aax4917DOI Listing
May 2019

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Susceptibility Gene Regulates Intestinal Epithelial Permeability.

Immunohorizons 2018 05 30;2(5):164-171. Epub 2018 May 30.

Department of Immunology Discovery, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080;

Intestinal epithelial cells form a physical barrier that is tightly regulated to control intestinal permeability. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, increase epithelial permeability through disruption of epithelial junctions. The regulation of the epithelial barrier in inflammatory gastrointestinal disease remains to be fully characterized. In this article, we show that the human inflammatory bowel disease genetic susceptibility gene plays a key role in regulating gut epithelial permeability. C1ORF106 directly interacts with cytohesins to maintain functional epithelial cell junctions. -deficient mice are hypersensitive to TNF-α-induced increase in epithelial permeability, and this is associated with increased diarrhea. This study identifies C1ORF106 as an epithelial cell junction protein, and the loss of C1ORF106 augments TNF-α-induced intestinal epithelial leakage and diarrhea that may play a critical role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/immunohorizons.1800027DOI Listing
May 2018

Intrinsic apoptosis shapes the tumor spectrum linked to inactivation of the deubiquitinase BAP1.

Science 2019 Apr 18;364(6437):283-285. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Malignancies arising from mutation of tumor suppressors have unexplained tissue proclivity. For example, encodes a widely expressed deubiquitinase for histone H2A, but germline mutations are predominantly associated with uveal melanomas and mesotheliomas. We show that BAP1 inactivation causes apoptosis in mouse embryonic stem cells, fibroblasts, liver, and pancreatic tissue but not in melanocytes and mesothelial cells. Ubiquitin ligase RNF2, which silences genes by monoubiquitinating H2A, promoted apoptosis in BAP1-deficient cells by suppressing expression of the prosurvival genes and In contrast, BAP1 loss in melanocytes had little impact on expression of prosurvival genes, instead inducing Thus, BAP1 appears to modulate gene expression by countering H2A ubiquitination, but its loss only promotes tumorigenesis in cells that do not engage an RNF2-dependent apoptotic program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aav4902DOI Listing
April 2019

PTCD1 Is Required for Mitochondrial Oxidative-Phosphorylation: Possible Genetic Association with Alzheimer's Disease.

J Neurosci 2019 06 4;39(24):4636-4656. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Departments of Neuroscience,

In addition to amyloid-β plaques and tau tangles, mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neurons heavily rely on mitochondrial function, and deficits in brain energy metabolism are detected early in AD; however, direct human genetic evidence for mitochondrial involvement in AD pathogenesis is limited. We analyzed whole-exome sequencing data of 4549 AD cases and 3332 age-matched controls and discovered that rare protein altering variants in the gene pentatricopeptide repeat-containing protein 1 () show a trend for enrichment in cases compared with controls. We show here that PTCD1 is required for normal mitochondrial rRNA levels, proper assembly of the mitochondrial ribosome and hence for mitochondrial translation and assembly of the electron transport chain. Loss of PTCD1 function impairs oxidative phosphorylation and forces cells to rely on glycolysis for energy production. Cells expressing the AD-linked variant of PTCD1 fail to sustain energy production under increased metabolic stress. In neurons, reduced PTCD1 expression leads to lower ATP levels and impacts spontaneous synaptic activity. Thus, our study uncovers a possible link between a protein required for mitochondrial function and energy metabolism and AD risk. Mitochondria are the main source of cellular energy and mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we identify a variant in the gene that is enriched in AD patients and demonstrate that PTCD1 is required for ATP generation through oxidative phosphorylation. PTCD1 regulates the level of 16S rRNA, the backbone of the mitoribosome, and is essential for mitochondrial translation and assembly of the electron transport chain. Cells expressing the AD-associated variant fail to maintain adequate ATP production during metabolic stress, and reduced PTCD1 activity disrupts neuronal energy homeostasis and dampens spontaneous transmission. Our work provides a mechanistic link between a protein required for mitochondrial function and genetic AD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0116-19.2019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6561697PMC
June 2019

Pyruvate Kinase Muscle-1 Expression Appears to Drive Lactogenic Behavior in CHO Cell Lines, Triggering Lower Viability and Productivity: A Case Study.

Biotechnol J 2019 Apr 16;14(4):e1800332. Epub 2018 Sep 16.

Cell Culture Department, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines are used to express a variety of therapeutic proteins. However, lactogenic behavior displayed by some CHO cell lines during manufacturing processes may result in a decline in viability, productivity, and possible alterations in product quality. In cultured cells, lactate is produced during glycolysis through irreversible conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate and then lactate via sequential function of pyruvate kinase and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzymes. In the process of cell line development (CLD), two lactogenic cell lines expressing different antibody molecules are identified. The lactogenic behaviors of these cell lines can be differentially mitigated through optimization of either nutrient feeds or culture pH, depending on the cell line. Analysis of various proteins involved in the glycolysis pathway reveal a direct correlation between the pyruvate kinase muscle-1 (PKM-1) isoform levels and lactogenic behavior. CRISPR mediated knockout of the PKM-1 isoform abolishes lactate accumulation even under lactogenic conditions. Furthermore, a cell line lacking expression of both PKM-1 and PKM-2 enzymes capable of maintaining productivity, viability, and growth without displaying lactogenic behavior is identified. Targeted deletion of PKM in CHO cells may be tolerated due to expression of PKL (liver) and PKR (red blood cell) isoforms of pyruvate kinase. All together, these findings suggest that PKM-1 up-regulation during antibody production could trigger lactogenic behavior and that this enzyme is dispensable for CHO cell survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.201800332DOI Listing
April 2019

A CRISPR screen identifies MAPK7 as a target for combination with MEK inhibition in KRAS mutant NSCLC.

PLoS One 2018 18;13(6):e0199264. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Department of Discovery Oncology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, United States of America.

Mutant KRAS represents one of the most frequently observed oncogenes in NSCLC, yet no therapies are approved for tumors that express activated KRAS variants. While there is strong rationale for the use of MEK inhibitors to treat tumors with activated RAS/MAPK signaling, these have proven ineffective clinically. We therefore implemented a CRISPR screening approach to identify novel agents to sensitize KRAS mutant NSCLC cells to MEK inhibitor treatment. This approach identified multiple components of the canonical RAS/MAPK pathway consistent with previous studies. In addition, we identified MAPK7 as a novel, strong hit and validated this finding using multiple orthogonal approaches including knockdown and pharmacological inhibition. We show that MAPK7 inhibition attenuates the re-activation of MAPK signaling occurring following long-term MEK inhibition, thereby illustrating that MAPK7 mediates pathway reactivation in the face of MEK inhibition. Finally, genetic knockdown of MAPK7 combined with the MEK inhibitor cobimetinib in a mutant KRAS NSCLC xenograft model to mediate improved tumor growth inhibition. These data highlight that MAPK7 represents a promising target for combination treatment with MEK inhibition in KRAS mutant NSCLC.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199264PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6005515PMC
April 2019

ASC- and caspase-8-dependent apoptotic pathway diverges from the NLRC4 inflammasome in macrophages.

Sci Rep 2018 02 28;8(1):3788. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA.

The NLRC4 inflammasome recognizes bacterial flagellin and components of the type III secretion apparatus. NLRC4 stimulation leads to caspase-1 activation followed by a rapid lytic cell death known as pyroptosis. NLRC4 is linked to pathogen-free auto-inflammatory diseases, suggesting a role for NLRC4 in sterile inflammation. Here, we show that NLRC4 activates an alternative cell death program morphologically similar to apoptosis in caspase-1-deficient BMDMs. By performing an unbiased genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen with subsequent validation studies in gene-targeted mice, we highlight a critical role for caspase-8 and ASC adaptor in an alternative apoptotic pathway downstream of NLRC4. Furthermore, caspase-1 catalytically dead knock-in (Casp1 C284A KI) BMDMs genetically segregate pyroptosis and apoptosis, and confirm that caspase-1 does not functionally compete with ASC for NLRC4 interactions. We show that NLRC4/caspase-8-mediated apoptotic cells eventually undergo plasma cell membrane damage in vitro, suggesting that this pathway can lead to secondary necrosis. Unexpectedly, we found that DFNA5/GSDME, a member of the pore-forming gasdermin family, is dispensable for the secondary necrosis that follows NLRC4-mediated apoptosis in macrophages. Together, our data confirm the existence of an alternative caspase-8 activation pathway diverging from the NLRC4 inflammasome in primary macrophages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-21998-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5830643PMC
February 2018

CRISPR whole-genome screening identifies new necroptosis regulators and RIPK1 alternative splicing.

Cell Death Dis 2018 02 15;9(3):261. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

Department of Discovery Oncology, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

The necroptotic cell death pathway is a key component of human pathogen defense that can become aberrantly derepressed during tissue homeostasis to contribute to multiple types of tissue damage and disease. While formation of the necrosome kinase signaling complex containing RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL has been extensively characterized, additional mechanisms of its regulation and effector functions likely remain to be discovered. We screened 19,883 mouse protein-coding genes by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout for resistance to cytokine-induced necroptosis and identified 112 regulators and mediators of necroptosis, including 59 new candidate pathway components with minimal or no effect on cell growth in the absence of necroptosis induction. Among these, we further characterized the function of PTBP1, an RNA binding protein whose activity is required to maintain RIPK1 protein abundance by regulating alternative splice-site selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-018-0301-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833675PMC
February 2018

SUV420H2 is an epigenetic regulator of epithelial/mesenchymal states in pancreatic cancer.

J Cell Biol 2018 02 11;217(2):763-777. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Genentech, South San Francisco, CA

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is implicated in metastasis, where carcinoma cells lose sessile epithelial traits and acquire mesenchymal migratory potential. The mesenchymal state is also associated with cancer stem cells and resistance to chemotherapy. It might therefore be therapeutically beneficial to promote epithelial identity in cancer. Because large-scale cell identity shifts are often orchestrated on an epigenetic level, we screened for candidate epigenetic factors and identified the histone methyltransferase SUV420H2 (KMT5C) as favoring the mesenchymal identity in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Through its repressive mark H4K20me3, SUV420H2 silences several key drivers of the epithelial state. Its knockdown elicited mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition on a molecular and functional level, and cells displayed decreased stemness and increased drug sensitivity. An analysis of human pancreatic cancer biopsies was concordant with these findings, because high levels of SUV420H2 correlated with a loss of epithelial characteristics in progressively invasive cancer. Together, these data indicate that SUV420H2 is an upstream epigenetic regulator of epithelial/mesenchymal state control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201705031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800801PMC
February 2018

PRC2-mediated repression of SMARCA2 predicts EZH2 inhibitor activity in SWI/SNF mutant tumors.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 11 30;114(46):12249-12254. Epub 2017 Oct 30.

Department of Discovery Oncology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080;

Subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex are frequently mutated in human cancers leading to epigenetic dependencies that are therapeutically targetable. The dependency on the polycomb repressive complex (PRC2) and EZH2 represents one such vulnerability in tumors with mutations in the SWI/SNF complex subunit, SNF5; however, whether this vulnerability extends to other SWI/SNF subunit mutations is not well understood. Here we show that a subset of cancers harboring mutations in the SWI/SNF ATPase, SMARCA4, is sensitive to EZH2 inhibition. EZH2 inhibition results in a heterogenous phenotypic response characterized by senescence and/or apoptosis in different models, and also leads to tumor growth inhibition in vivo. Lower expression of the SMARCA2 paralog was associated with cellular sensitivity to EZH2 inhibition in SMARCA4 mutant cancer models, independent of tissue derivation. SMARCA2 is suppressed by PRC2 in sensitive models, and induced SMARCA2 expression can compensate for SMARCA4 and antagonize PRC2 targets. The induction of SMARCA2 in response to EZH2 inhibition is required for apoptosis, but not for growth arrest, through a mechanism involving the derepression of the lysomal protease cathepsin B. Expression of SMARCA2 also delineates EZH2 inhibitor sensitivity for other SWI/SNF complex subunit mutant tumors, including SNF5 and ARID1A mutant cancers. Our data support monitoring SMARCA2 expression as a predictive biomarker for EZH2-targeted therapies in the context of SWI/SNF mutant cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1703966114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699030PMC
November 2017

Cathepsin B Is Dispensable for Cellular Processing of Cathepsin B-Cleavable Antibody-Drug Conjugates.

Cancer Res 2017 12 18;77(24):7027-7037. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California.

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) are designed to selectively bind to tumor antigens via the antibody and release their cytotoxic payload upon internalization. Controllable payload release through judicious design of the linker has been an early technological milestone. Here, we examine the effect of the protease-cleavable valine-citrulline [VC(S)] linker on ADC efficacy. The VC(S) linker was designed to be cleaved by cathepsin B, a lysosomal cysteine protease. Surprisingly, suppression of cathepsin B expression via CRISPR-Cas9 gene deletion or shRNA knockdown had no effect on the efficacy of ADCs with VC(S) linkers armed with a monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) payload. Mass spectrometry studies of payload release suggested that other cysteine cathepsins can cleave the VC(S) linker. Also, ADCs with a nonprotease-cleavable enantiomer, the VC(R) isomer, mediated effective cell killing with a cysteine-VC(R)-MMAE catabolite generated by lysosomal catabolism. Based on these observations, we altered the payload to a pyrrolo[2,1-c][1,4]benzodiazepine dimer (PBD) conjugate that requires linker cleavage in order to bind its DNA target. Unlike the VC-MMAE ADCs, the VC(S)-PBD ADC is at least 20-fold more cytotoxic than the VC(R)-PBD ADC. Our findings reveal that the VC(S) linker has multiple paths to produce active catabolites and that antibody and intracellular targets are more critical to ADC efficacy. These results suggest that protease-cleavable linkers are unlikely to increase the therapeutic index of ADCs and that resistance based on linker processing is improbable. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2391DOI Listing
December 2017

Non-canonical reader modules of BAZ1A promote recovery from DNA damage.

Nat Commun 2017 10 11;8(1):862. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Department of Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

Members of the ISWI family of chromatin remodelers mobilize nucleosomes to control DNA accessibility and, in some cases, are required for recovery from DNA damage. However, it remains poorly understood how the non-catalytic ISWI subunits BAZ1A and BAZ1B might contact chromatin to direct the ATPase SMARCA5. Here, we find that the plant homeodomain of BAZ1A, but not that of BAZ1B, has the unusual function of binding DNA. Furthermore, the BAZ1A bromodomain has a non-canonical gatekeeper residue and binds relatively weakly to acetylated histone peptides. Using CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing we find that BAZ1A and BAZ1B each recruit SMARCA5 to sites of damaged chromatin and promote survival. Genetic engineering of structure-designed bromodomain and plant homeodomain mutants reveals that reader modules of BAZ1A and BAZ1B, even when non-standard, are critical for DNA damage recovery in part by regulating ISWI factors loading at DNA lesions and supporting transcriptional programs required for survival.ISWI chromatin remodelers regulate DNA accessibility and have been implicated in DNA damage repair. Here, the authors uncover functions, in response to DNA damage, for the bromodomain of the ISWI subunit BAZ1B and for the non-canonical PHD and bromodomain modules of the paralog BAZ1A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00866-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5636791PMC
October 2017

Ubiquilin1 promotes antigen-receptor mediated proliferation by eliminating mislocalized mitochondrial proteins.

Elife 2017 09 21;6. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Department of Infectious Disease, Genentech, South San Francisco, United States.

Ubiquilins (Ubqlns) are a family of ubiquitin receptors that promote the delivery of hydrophobic and aggregated ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. We carried out a proteomic analysis of a B cell lymphoma-derived cell line, BJAB, that requires UBQLN1 for survival to identify UBQLN1 client proteins. When UBQLN1 expression was acutely inhibited, 120 mitochondrial proteins were enriched in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the accumulation of mitochondrial client proteins in the absence of UBQLN1 is cytostatic. Using a mouse strain, we found that B cell receptor (BCR) ligation of B cells led to a defect in cell cycle entry. As in BJAB cells, mitochondrial proteins accumulated in BCR-stimulated cells, leading to protein synthesis inhibition and cell cycle block. Thus, UBQLN1 plays an important role in clearing mislocalized mitochondrial proteins upon cell stimulation, and its absence leads to suppression of protein synthesis and cell cycle arrest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.26435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608509PMC
September 2017

Silencing of retrotransposons by SETDB1 inhibits the interferon response in acute myeloid leukemia.

J Cell Biol 2017 11 8;216(11):3535-3549. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Department of Molecular Biology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA

A propensity for rewiring genetic and epigenetic regulatory networks, thus enabling sustained cell proliferation, suppression of apoptosis, and the ability to evade the immune system, is vital to cancer cell propagation. An increased understanding of how this is achieved is critical for identifying or improving therapeutic interventions. In this study, using acute myeloid leukemia (AML) human cell lines and a custom CRISPR/Cas9 screening platform, we identify the H3K9 methyltransferase SETDB1 as a novel, negative regulator of innate immunity. SETDB1 is overexpressed in many cancers, and loss of this gene in AML cells triggers desilencing of retrotransposable elements that leads to the production of double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs). This is coincident with induction of a type I interferon response and apoptosis through the dsRNA-sensing pathway. Collectively, our findings establish a unique gene regulatory axis that cancer cells can exploit to circumvent the immune system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201612160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674883PMC
November 2017

Expansion of the ISWI chromatin remodeler family with new active complexes.

EMBO Rep 2017 10 11;18(10):1697-1706. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Department of Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA

ISWI chromatin remodelers mobilize nucleosomes to control DNA accessibility. Complexes isolated to date pair one of six regulatory subunits with one of two highly similar ATPases. However, we find that each endogenously expressed ATPase co-purifies with every regulatory subunit, substantially increasing the diversity of ISWI complexes, and we additionally identify BAZ2B as a novel, seventh regulatory subunit. Through reconstitution of catalytically active human ISWI complexes, we demonstrate that the new interactions described here are stable and direct. Finally, we profile the nucleosome remodeling functions of the now expanded family of ISWI chromatin remodelers. By revealing the combinatorial nature of ISWI complexes, we provide a basis for better understanding ISWI function in normal settings and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embr.201744011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623870PMC
October 2017

Repression of Stress-Induced LINE-1 Expression Protects Cancer Cell Subpopulations from Lethal Drug Exposure.

Cancer Cell 2017 08 3;32(2):221-237.e13. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Molecular Oncology, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA. Electronic address:

Maintenance of phenotypic heterogeneity within cell populations is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that underlies population survival upon stressful exposures. We show that the genomes of a cancer cell subpopulation that survives treatment with otherwise lethal drugs, the drug-tolerant persisters (DTPs), exhibit a repressed chromatin state characterized by increased methylation of histone H3 lysines 9 and 27 (H3K9 and H3K27). We also show that survival of DTPs is, in part, maintained by regulators of H3K9me3-mediated heterochromatin formation and that the observed increase in H3K9me3 in DTPs is most prominent over long interspersed repeat element 1 (LINE-1). Disruption of the repressive chromatin over LINE-1 elements in DTPs results in DTP ablation, which is partially rescued by reducing LINE-1 expression or function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2017.07.002DOI Listing
August 2017

Biological basis of radiation protection needs rejuvenation.

Int J Radiat Biol 2017 10 13;93(10):1056-1063. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

a Department of Radiation Oncology , Northwestern University , Chicago , IL , USA.

Purpose: Human beings encounter radiation in many different situations - from proximity to radioactive waste sites to participation in medical procedures using X-rays etc. Limits for radiation exposures are legally regulated; however, current radiation protection policy does not explicitly acknowledge that biological, cellular and molecular effects of low doses and low dose rates of radiation differ from effects induced by medium and high dose radiation exposures. Recent technical developments in biology and medicine, from single cell techniques to big data computational research, have enabled new approaches for study of biology of low doses of radiation. Results of the work done so far support the idea that low doses of radiation have effects that differ from those associated with high dose exposures; this work, however, is far from sufficient for the development of a new theoretical framework needed for the understanding of low dose radiation exposures.

Conclusions: Mechanistic understanding of radiation effects at low doses is necessary in order to develop better radiation protection policy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09553002.2017.1294773DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340141PMC
October 2017

Tumour and host cell PD-L1 is required to mediate suppression of anti-tumour immunity in mice.

Nat Commun 2017 02 21;8:14572. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Department of Cancer Immunology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Expression of PD-L1, the ligand for T-cell inhibitory receptor PD-1, is one key immunosuppressive mechanism by which cancer avoids eradication by the immune system. Therapeutic use of blocking antibodies to PD-L1 or its receptor PD-1 has produced unparalleled, durable clinical responses, with highest likelihood of response seen in patients whose tumour or immune cells express PD-L1 before therapy. The significance of PD-L1 expression in each cell type has emerged as a central and controversial unknown in the clinical development of immunotherapeutics. Using genetic deletion in preclinical mouse models, here we show that PD-L1 from disparate cellular sources, including tumour cells, myeloid or other immune cells can similarly modulate the degree of cytotoxic T-cell function and activity in the tumour microenvironment. PD-L1 expression in both the host and tumour compartment contribute to immune suppression in a non-redundant fashion, suggesting that both sources could be predictive of sensitivity to therapeutic agents targeting the PD-L1/PD-1 axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5321797PMC
February 2017