Publications by authors named "Carmen Z Cantemir-Stone"

8 Publications

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IntLIM: integration using linear models of metabolomics and gene expression data.

BMC Bioinformatics 2018 03 5;19(1):81. Epub 2018 Mar 5.

Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Background: Integration of transcriptomic and metabolomic data improves functional interpretation of disease-related metabolomic phenotypes, and facilitates discovery of putative metabolite biomarkers and gene targets. For this reason, these data are increasingly collected in large (> 100 participants) cohorts, thereby driving a need for the development of user-friendly and open-source methods/tools for their integration. Of note, clinical/translational studies typically provide snapshot (e.g. one time point) gene and metabolite profiles and, oftentimes, most metabolites measured are not identified. Thus, in these types of studies, pathway/network approaches that take into account the complexity of transcript-metabolite relationships may neither be applicable nor readily uncover novel relationships. With this in mind, we propose a simple linear modeling approach to capture disease-(or other phenotype) specific gene-metabolite associations, with the assumption that co-regulation patterns reflect functionally related genes and metabolites.

Results: The proposed linear model, metabolite ~ gene + phenotype + gene:phenotype, specifically evaluates whether gene-metabolite relationships differ by phenotype, by testing whether the relationship in one phenotype is significantly different from the relationship in another phenotype (via a statistical interaction gene:phenotype p-value). Statistical interaction p-values for all possible gene-metabolite pairs are computed and significant pairs are then clustered by the directionality of associations (e.g. strong positive association in one phenotype, strong negative association in another phenotype). We implemented our approach as an R package, IntLIM, which includes a user-friendly R Shiny web interface, thereby making the integrative analyses accessible to non-computational experts. We applied IntLIM to two previously published datasets, collected in the NCI-60 cancer cell lines and in human breast tumor and non-tumor tissue, for which transcriptomic and metabolomic data are available. We demonstrate that IntLIM captures relevant tumor-specific gene-metabolite associations involved in known cancer-related pathways, including glutamine metabolism. Using IntLIM, we also uncover biologically relevant novel relationships that could be further tested experimentally.

Conclusions: IntLIM provides a user-friendly, reproducible framework to integrate transcriptomic and metabolomic data and help interpret metabolomic data and uncover novel gene-metabolite relationships. The IntLIM R package is publicly available in GitHub ( https://github.com/mathelab/IntLIM ) and includes a user-friendly web application, vignettes, sample data and data/code to reproduce results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12859-018-2085-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5838881PMC
March 2018

Behavioral abnormalities in mice lacking mesenchyme-specific Pten.

Behav Brain Res 2016 May 11;304:80-5. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Department of Internal Medicine, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University-Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

Phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten) is a negative regulator of cell proliferation and growth. Using a Cre-recombinase approach with Lox sequences flanking the fibroblast-specific protein 1 (Fsp1 aka S100A4; a mesenchymal marker), we probed sites of expression using a β-galactosidase Rosa26(LoxP) reporter allele; the transgene driving deletion of Pten (exons 4-5) was found throughout the brain parenchyma and pituitary, suggesting that deletion of Pten in Fsp1-positive cells may influence behavior. Because CNS-specific deletion of Pten influences social and anxiety-like behaviors and S100A4 is expressed in astrocytes, we predicted that loss of Pten in Fsp1-expressing cells would result in deficits in social interaction and increased anxiety. We further predicted that environmental enrichment would compensate for genetic deficits in these behaviors. We conducted a battery of behavioral assays on Fsp1-Cre;Pten(LoxP/LoxP) male and female homozygous knockouts (Pten(-/-)) and compared their behavior to Pten(LoxP/LoxP) (Pten(+/+)) conspecifics. Despite extensive physical differences (including reduced hippocampal size) and deficits in sensorimotor function, Pten(-/-) mice behaved remarkably similar to control mice on nearly all behavioral tasks. These results suggest that the social and anxiety-like phenotypes observed in CNS-specific Pten(-/-) mice may depend on neuronal Pten, as lack of Pten in Fsp1-expressing cells of the CNS had little effect on these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2016.02.016DOI Listing
May 2016

The mannose-6-phosphate analogue, PXS64, inhibits fibrosis via TGF-β1 pathway in human lung fibroblasts.

Immunol Lett 2015 Jun 27;165(2):90-101. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

Drug Discovery, Pharmaxis, Australia; School of Medical & Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease characterised by a progressive decline in lung function which can be attributed to excessive scarring, inflammation and airway remodelling. Mannose-6-phosphate (M6P) is a strong inhibitor of fibrosis and its administration has been associated with beneficial effects in tendon repair surgery as well as nerve repair after injury. Given this promising therapeutic approach we developed an improved analogue of M6P, namely PXS64, and explored its anti-fibrotic effects in vitro. Normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLF) and human lung fibroblast 19 cells (HF19) were exposed to active recombinant human TGF-β1 to induce increases in fibrotic markers. rhTGF-β1 increased constitutive protein levels of fibronectin and collagen in the NHLF cells, whereas HF19 cells showed increased levels of fibronectin, collagen as well as αSMA (alpha smooth muscle actin). PXS64 demonstrated a robust inhibitory effect on all proteins analysed. IPF patient fibroblasts treated with PXS64 presented an improved phenotype in terms of their morphological appearance, as well as a decrease in fibrotic markers (collagen, CTGF, TGF-β3, tenascin C, αSMA and THBS1). To explore the cell signalling pathways involved in the anti-fibrotic effects of PXS64, proteomics analysis with iTRAQ labelling was performed and the data demonstrated a specific antagonistic effect on the TGF-β1 pathway. This study shows that PXS64 effectively inhibits the production of extracellular matrix, as well as myofibroblast differentiation during fibrosis. These results suggest that PXS64 influences tissue remodelling by inhibiting TGF-β1 signalling in NHLF and HF19 cell lines, as well as in IPF patient fibroblasts. Thus PXS64 is a potential candidate for preclinical application in pulmonary fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imlet.2015.04.003DOI Listing
June 2015

Ets2 in tumor fibroblasts promotes angiogenesis in breast cancer.

PLoS One 2013 16;8(8):e71533. Epub 2013 Aug 16.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America.

Tumor fibroblasts are active partners in tumor progression, but the genes and pathways that mediate this collaboration are ill-defined. Previous work demonstrates that Ets2 function in stromal cells significantly contributes to breast tumor progression. Conditional mouse models were used to study the function of Ets2 in both mammary stromal fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Conditional inactivation of Ets2 in stromal fibroblasts in PyMT and ErbB2 driven tumors significantly reduced tumor growth, however deletion of Ets2 in epithelial cells in the PyMT model had no significant effect. Analysis of gene expression in fibroblasts revealed a tumor- and Ets2-dependent gene signature that was enriched in genes important for ECM remodeling, cell migration, and angiogenesis in both PyMT and ErbB2 driven-tumors. Consistent with these results, PyMT and ErbB2 tumors lacking Ets2 in fibroblasts had fewer functional blood vessels, and Ets2 in fibroblasts elicited changes in gene expression in tumor endothelial cells consistent with this phenotype. An in vivo angiogenesis assay revealed the ability of Ets2 in fibroblasts to promote blood vessel formation in the absence of tumor cells. Importantly, the Ets2-dependent gene expression signatures from both mouse models were able to distinguish human breast tumor stroma from normal stroma, and correlated with patient outcomes in two whole tumor breast cancer data sets. The data reveals a key function for Ets2 in tumor fibroblasts in signaling to endothelial cells to promote tumor angiogenesis. The results highlight the collaborative networks that orchestrate communication between stromal cells and tumor cells, and suggest that targeting tumor fibroblasts may be an effective strategy for developing novel anti-angiogenic therapies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071533PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745457PMC
April 2014

Epigenetic regulation of miR-17~92 contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013 Feb 10;187(4):397-405. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, College of Medicine, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Columbus, OH, USA.

Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of progressive lung fibrosis with a high mortality rate. In organ repair and remodeling, epigenetic events are important. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and can target epigenetic molecules important in DNA methylation. The miR-17~92 miRNA cluster is critical for lung development and lung epithelial cell homeostasis and is predicted to target fibrotic genes and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)-1 expression.

Objectives: We investigated the miR-17~92 cluster expression and its role in regulating DNA methylation events in IPF lung tissue.

Methods: Expression and DNA methylation patterns of miR-17~92 were determined in human IPF lung tissue and fibroblasts and fibrotic mouse lung tissue. The relationship between the miR-17~92 cluster and DNMT-1 expression was examined in vitro. Using a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the therapeutic potential of the demethylating agent, 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine.

Measurements And Main Results: Compared with control samples, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in lung biopsies and lung fibroblasts from patients with IPF, whereas DNMT-1 expression and methylation of the miR-17~92 promoter was increased. Several miRNAs from the miR-17~92 cluster targeted DNMT-1 expression resulting in a negative feedback loop. Similarly, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice. Treatment with 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in a murine bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model reduced fibrotic gene and DNMT-1 expression, enhanced miR-17~92 cluster expression, and attenuated pulmonary fibrosis.

Conclusions: This study provides insight into the pathobiology of IPF and identifies a novel epigenetic feedback loop between miR-17~92 and DNMT-1 in lung fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201205-0888OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603596PMC
February 2013

Transcription factor ets-2 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2011 Nov 11;45(5):999-1006. Epub 2011 May 11.

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Ohio State University, Columbus, 43210, USA.

Ets-2 is a ubiquitous transcription factor activated after phosphorylation at threonine-72. Previous studies highlighted the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in lung inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling, two pathways involved in pulmonary fibrosis. We hypothesized that phosphorylated ets-2 played an important role in pulmonary fibrosis, and we sought to determine the role of ets-2 in its pathogenesis. We challenged ets-2 (A72/A72) transgenic mice (harboring a mutated form of ets-2 at phosphorylation site threonine-72) and ets-2 (wild-type/wild-type [WT/WT]) control mice with sequential intraperitoneal injections of bleomycin, followed by quantitative measurements of lung fibrosis and inflammation and primary cell in vitro assays. Concentrations of phosphorylated ets-2 were detected via the single and dual immunohistochemical staining of murine lungs and lung sections from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Ets-2 (A72/A72) mice were protected from bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, compared with ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. This protection was characterized by decreased lung pathological abnormalities and the fibrotic gene expression of Type I collagen, Type III collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. Immunohistochemical staining of lung sections from bleomycin-treated ets-2 (WT/WT) mice and from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis demonstrated increased staining of phosphorylated ets-2 that colocalized with Type I collagen expression and to fibroblastic foci. Lastly, primary lung fibroblasts from ets-2 (A72/A72) mice exhibited decreased expression of Type I collagen in response to stimulation with TGF-β, compared with fibroblasts from ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. These data indicate the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis through the expression of Type I collagen and (myo)fibroblast activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2010-0490OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262682PMC
November 2011

Pten in stromal fibroblasts suppresses mammary epithelial tumours.

Nature 2009 Oct;461(7267):1084-91

Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Biological Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.

The tumour stroma is believed to contribute to some of the most malignant characteristics of epithelial tumours. However, signalling between stromal and tumour cells is complex and remains poorly understood. Here we show that the genetic inactivation of Pten in stromal fibroblasts of mouse mammary glands accelerated the initiation, progression and malignant transformation of mammary epithelial tumours. This was associated with the massive remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM), innate immune cell infiltration and increased angiogenesis. Loss of Pten in stromal fibroblasts led to increased expression, phosphorylation (T72) and recruitment of Ets2 to target promoters known to be involved in these processes. Remarkably, Ets2 inactivation in Pten stroma-deleted tumours ameliorated disruption of the tumour microenvironment and was sufficient to decrease tumour growth and progression. Global gene expression profiling of mammary stromal cells identified a Pten-specific signature that was highly represented in the tumour stroma of patients with breast cancer. These findings identify the Pten-Ets2 axis as a critical stroma-specific signalling pathway that suppresses mammary epithelial tumours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2767301PMC
October 2009

Ets1 and Ets2 are required for endothelial cell survival during embryonic angiogenesis.

Blood 2009 Jul 1;114(5):1123-30. Epub 2009 May 1.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The OhioState University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

The ras/Raf/Mek/Erk pathway plays a central role in coordinating endothelial cell activities during angiogenesis. Transcription factors Ets1 and Ets2 are targets of ras/Erk signaling pathways that have been implicated in endothelial cell function in vitro, but their precise role in vascular formation and function in vivo remains ill-defined. In this work, mutation of both Ets1 and Ets2 resulted in embryonic lethality at midgestation, with striking defects in vascular branching having been observed. The action of these factors was endothelial cell autonomous as demonstrated using Cre/loxP technology. Analysis of Ets1/Ets2 target genes in isolated embryonic endothelial cells demonstrated down-regulation of Mmp9, Bcl-X(L), and cIAP2 in double mutants versus controls, and chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that both Ets1 and Ets2 were loaded at target promoters. Consistent with these observations, endothelial cell apoptosis was significantly increased both in vivo and in vitro when both Ets1 and Ets2 were mutated. These results establish essential and overlapping functions for Ets1 and Ets2 in coordinating endothelial cell functions with survival during embryonic angiogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-03-211391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2721789PMC
July 2009