Publications by authors named "Lorenzo de la Rica"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

SETDB1 prevents TET2-dependent activation of IAP retroelements in naïve embryonic stem cells.

Genome Biol 2018 01 19;19(1). Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL, London, E1 2AT, UK.

Background: Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are responsible for 10% of spontaneous mouse mutations, are kept under control via several epigenetic mechanisms. The H3K9 histone methyltransferase SETDB1 is essential for ERV repression in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), with DNA methylation also playing an important role. It has been suggested that SETDB1 protects ERVs from TET-dependent DNA demethylation, but the relevance of this mechanism for ERV expression remains unclear. Moreover, previous studies have been performed in primed ESCs, which are not epigenetically or transcriptionally representative of preimplantation embryos.

Results: We use naïve ESCs to investigate the role of SETDB1 in ERV regulation and its relationship with TET-mediated DNA demethylation. Naïve ESCs show an increased dependency on SETDB1 for ERV silencing when compared to primed ESCs, including at the highly mutagenic intracisternal A particles (IAPs). We find that in the absence of SETDB1, TET2 activates IAP elements in a catalytic-dependent manner. Surprisingly, TET2 does not drive changes in DNA methylation levels at IAPs, suggesting that it regulates these retrotransposons indirectly. Instead, SETDB1 depletion leads to a TET2-dependent loss of H4R3me2s, which is indispensable for IAP silencing during epigenetic reprogramming.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a novel and unexpected role for SETDB1 in protecting IAPs from TET2-dependent histone arginine demethylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-017-1376-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5775534PMC
January 2018

TET2- and TDG-mediated changes are required for the acquisition of distinct histone modifications in divergent terminal differentiation of myeloid cells.

Nucleic Acids Res 2017 Sep;45(17):10002-10017

Chromatin and Disease Group, Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

The plasticity of myeloid cells is illustrated by a diversity of functions including their role as effectors of innate immunity as macrophages (MACs) and bone remodelling as osteoclasts (OCs). TET2, a methylcytosine dioxygenase highly expressed in these cells and frequently mutated in myeloid leukemias, may be a key contributor to this plasticity. Through transcriptomic and epigenomic analyses, we investigated 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and gene expression changes in two divergent terminal myeloid differentiation processes, namely MAC and OC differentiation. MACs and OCs undergo highly similar 5hmC and 5mC changes, despite their wide differences in gene expression. Many TET2- and thymine-DNA glycosylase (TDG)-dependent 5mC and 5hmC changes directly activate the common terminal myeloid differentiation programme. However, the acquisition of differential features between MACs and OCs also depends on TET2/TDG. In fact, 5mC oxidation precedes differential histone modification changes between MACs and OCs. TET2 and TDG downregulation impairs the acquisition of such differential histone modification and expression patterns at MAC-/OC-specific genes. We prove that the histone H3K4 methyltransferase SETD1A is differentially recruited between MACs and OCs in a TET2-dependent manner. We demonstrate a novel role of these enzymes in the establishment of specific elements of identity and function in terminal myeloid differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkx666DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622316PMC
September 2017

TET-dependent regulation of retrotransposable elements in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Genome Biol 2016 11 18;17(1):234. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL, London, E1 2AT, UK.

Background: Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes oxidise DNA methylation as part of an active demethylation pathway. Despite extensive research into the role of TETs in genome regulation, little is known about their effect on transposable elements (TEs), which make up nearly half of the mouse and human genomes. Epigenetic mechanisms controlling TEs have the potential to affect their mobility and to drive the co-adoption of TEs for the benefit of the host.

Results: We performed a detailed investigation of the role of TET enzymes in the regulation of TEs in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We find that TET1 and TET2 bind multiple TE classes that harbour a variety of epigenetic signatures indicative of different functional roles. TETs co-bind with pluripotency factors to enhancer-like TEs that interact with highly expressed genes in ESCs whose expression is partly maintained by TET2-mediated DNA demethylation. TETs and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) are also strongly enriched at the 5' UTR of full-length, evolutionarily young LINE-1 elements, a pattern that is conserved in human ESCs. TETs drive LINE-1 demethylation, but surprisingly, LINE-1s are kept repressed through additional TET-dependent activities. We find that the SIN3A co-repressive complex binds to LINE-1s, ensuring their repression in a TET1-dependent manner.

Conclusions: Our data implicate TET enzymes in the evolutionary dynamics of TEs, both in the context of exaptation processes and of retrotransposition control. The dual role of TET action on LINE-1s may reflect the evolutionary battle between TEs and the host.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-016-1096-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116139PMC
November 2016

Profiling DNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation at Retrotransposable Elements.

Methods Mol Biol 2016 ;1400:387-401

Blizard Institute, School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL, E1 2AT, London, UK.

DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification controlling the transcriptional activity of mammalian retrotransposable elements. Its oxidation to DNA hydroxymethylation has been linked to DNA demethylation and reactivation of retrotransposons. Here we describe in detail protocols for three methods to measure DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation at specific genomic targets: glucMS-qPCR, and two sequencing approaches (pyrosequencing and high-throughput sequencing) for analyzing bisulfite- and oxidative bisulfite-modified DNA. All three techniques provide absolute measurements of methylation and hydroxymethylation levels at single-base resolution. Differences between the methods are discussed, mainly with respect to throughput and target coverage. These constitute the core techniques that are used in our laboratory for accurately surveying the epigenetics of retrotransposable elements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3372-3_24DOI Listing
December 2016

IL-4 orchestrates STAT6-mediated DNA demethylation leading to dendritic cell differentiation.

Genome Biol 2016 Jan 13;17. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

Chromatin and Disease Group, Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The role of cytokines in establishing specific transcriptional programmes in innate immune cells has long been recognized. However, little is known about how these extracellular factors instruct innate immune cell epigenomes to engage specific differentiation states. Human monocytes differentiate under inflammatory conditions into effector cells with non-redundant functions, such as dendritic cells and macrophages. In this context, interleukin 4 (IL-4) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) drive dendritic cell differentiation, whereas GM-CSF alone leads to macrophage differentiation.

Results: Here, we investigate the role of IL-4 in directing functionally relevant dendritic-cell-specific DNA methylation changes. A comparison of DNA methylome dynamics during differentiation from human monocytes to dendritic cells and macrophages identified gene sets undergoing dendritic-cell-specific or macrophage-specific demethylation. Demethylation is TET2-dependent and is essential for acquiring proper dendritic cell and macrophage identity. Most importantly, activation of the JAK3-STAT6 pathway, downstream of IL-4, is required for the acquisition of the dendritic-cell-specific demethylation and expression signature, following STAT6 binding. A constitutively activated form of STAT6 is able to bypass IL-4 upstream signalling and instruct dendritic-cell-specific functional DNA methylation changes.

Conclusions: Our study is the first description of a cytokine-mediated sequence of events leading to direct gene-specific demethylation in innate immune cell differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-015-0863-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711003PMC
January 2016

NF-κB-direct activation of microRNAs with repressive effects on monocyte-specific genes is critical for osteoclast differentiation.

Genome Biol 2015 Jan 5;16. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

Background: Monocyte-to-osteoclast conversion is a unique terminal differentiation process that is exacerbated in rheumatoid arthritis and bone metastasis. The mechanisms implicated in upregulating osteoclast-specific genes involve transcription factors, epigenetic regulators and microRNAs (miRNAs). It is less well known how downregulation of osteoclast-inappropriate genes is achieved.

Results: In this study, analysis of miRNA expression changes in osteoclast differentiation from human primary monocytes revealed the rapid upregulation of two miRNA clusters, miR-212/132 and miR-99b/let-7e/125a. We demonstrate that they negatively target monocyte-specific and immunomodulatory genes like TNFAIP3, IGF1R and IL15. Depletion of these miRNAs inhibits osteoclast differentiation and upregulates their targets. These miRNAs are also upregulated in other inflammatory monocytic differentiation processes. Most importantly, we demonstrate for the first time the direct involvement of Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-κB) in the regulation of these miRNAs, as well as with their targets, whereby NF-κB p65 binds the promoters of these two miRNA clusters and NF-κB inhibition or depletion results in impaired upregulation of their expression.

Conclusions: Our results reveal the direct involvement of NF-κB in shutting down certain monocyte-specific genes, including some anti-inflammatory activities, through a miRNA-dependent mechanism for proper osteoclast differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-014-0561-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290566PMC
January 2015

PU.1 target genes undergo Tet2-coupled demethylation and DNMT3b-mediated methylation in monocyte-to-osteoclast differentiation.

Genome Biol 2013 ;14(9):R99

Background: DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism for driving and stabilizing cell-fate decisions. Local deposition and removal of DNA methylation are tightly coupled with transcription factor binding, although the relationship varies with the specific differentiation process. Conversion of monocytes to osteoclasts is a unique terminal differentiation process within the hematopoietic system. This differentiation model is relevant to autoimmune disease and cancer, and there is abundant knowledge on the sets of transcription factors involved.

Results: Here we focused on DNA methylation changes during osteoclastogenesis. Hypermethylation and hypomethylation changes took place in several thousand genes, including all relevant osteoclast differentiation and function categories. Hypomethylation occurred in association with changes in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, a proposed intermediate toward demethylation. Transcription factor binding motif analysis revealed an over-representation of PU.1, NF-κB, and AP-1 (Jun/Fos) binding motifs in genes undergoing DNA methylation changes. Among these, only PU.1 motifs were significantly enriched in both hypermethylated and hypomethylated genes; ChIP-seq data analysis confirmed its association to both gene sets. Moreover, PU.1 interacts with both DNMT3b and TET2, suggesting its participation in driving hypermethylation and hydroxymethylation-mediated hypomethylation. Consistent with this, siRNA-mediated PU.1 knockdown in primary monocytes impaired the acquisition of DNA methylation and expression changes, and reduced the association of TET2 and DNMT3b at PU.1 targets during osteoclast differentiation.

Conclusions: The work described here identifies key changes in DNA methylation during monocyte-to-osteoclast differentiation and reveals novel roles for PU.1 in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2013-14-9-r99DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4054781PMC
January 2015

Identification of novel markers in rheumatoid arthritis through integrated analysis of DNA methylation and microRNA expression.

J Autoimmun 2013 Mar 8;41:6-16. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Chromatin and Disease Group, Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, 08907 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases are complex disorders, whose etiopathology is attributed to a crosstalk between genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Both variants of autoimmune susceptibility genes and environment are involved in the generation of aberrant epigenetic profiles in a cell-specific manner, which ultimately result in dysregulation of expression. Furthermore, changes in miRNA expression profiles also cause gene dysregulation associated with aberrant phenotypes. In rheumatoid arthritis, several cell types are involved in the destruction of the joints, synovial fibroblasts being among the most important. In this study we performed DNA methylation and miRNA expression screening of a set of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts and compared the results with those obtained from osteoarthritis patients with a normal phenotype. DNA methylation screening allowed us to identify changes in novel key target genes like IL6R, CAPN8 and DPP4, as well as several HOX genes. A significant proportion of genes undergoing DNA methylation changes were inversely correlated with expression. miRNA screening revealed the existence of subsets of miRNAs that underwent changes in expression. Integrated analysis highlighted sets of miRNAs that are controlled by DNA methylation, and genes that are regulated by DNA methylation and are targeted by miRNAs with a potential use as clinical markers. Our study enabled the identification of novel dysregulated targets in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts and generated a new workflow for the integrated analysis of miRNA and epigenetic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2012.12.005DOI Listing
March 2013

Epigenomic deregulation in the immune system.

Epigenomics 2011 Dec;3(6):697-713

Cancer Epigenetics & Biology Programme (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Proper immune function is the result of multiple cell commitment and differentiation steps, and adequate control of activation mechanisms. Deregulation of transcriptional programs in immune cells leads to the development of hematological malignancies, autoimmune diseases or immunodeficiencies. In this sense, epigenetic control of gene expression plays an essential role in the correct function of the immune system and the integrity of identity of relevant cell types. Epigenetic deregulation can result as a consequence of genetic changes in transcription factors, elements of signaling pathways or epigenetic enzymes, or as an effect of a variety of environmental factors. On top of genetic predisposition, viral infection and other external factors influence the development of immune-related diseases. In recent years, major strides have been made towards understanding the contribution of genetics in these immune disorders. Less progress has been made in dissecting the contribution of epigenetic factors in their etiology. Herein, it is presented what is currently known about epigenetic alterations in immune system associated disorders. It is also discussed how epigenomic analysis can help to understand the molecular basis of these diseases and how this information can be used in the clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/epi.11.99DOI Listing
December 2011