Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems in bacteria and archaea provide adaptive immunity against invading foreign nucleic acids. Previous studies suggest that certain bacteria employ their Type II CRISPR-Cas systems to target their own genes, thus evading host immunity. However, whether other CRISPR-Cas systems have similar functions during bacterial invasion of host cells remains unknown. Here we identify a novel role for Type I CRISPR-Cas systems in evading host defenses in Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain UCBPP-PA14. The Type I CRISPR-Cas system of PA14 targets the mRNA of the bacterial quorum-sensing regulator LasR to dampen the recognition by toll-like receptor 4, thus diminishing the pro-inflammatory responses of the host in cell and mouse models. Mechanistically, this nuclease-mediated RNA degradation requires a "5'-GGN-3'" recognition motif in the target mRNA, and HD and DExD/H domains in Cas3 of the Type I CRISPR-Cas system. As LasR and Type I CRISPR-Cas systems are ubiquitously present in bacteria, our findings elucidate an important common mechanism underlying bacterial virulence.
Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University
Metastasis, the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary tumor, is the cause of death for 90% of cancer patients, but little is known about how metastatic cancer cells adapt to and colonize new tissue environments. Here, using clinical samples, patient-derived xenograft (PDX) samples, PDX cells, and primary/metastatic cell lines, we discovered that liver metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) cells lose their colon-specific gene transcription program yet gain a liver-specific gene transcription program. We showed that this transcription reprogramming is driven by a reshaped epigenetic landscape of both typical enhancers and super-enhancers. Further, we identified that the liver-specific transcription factors FOXA2 and HNF1A can bind to the gained enhancers and activate the liver-specific gene transcription, thereby driving CRC liver metastasis. Importantly, similar transcription reprogramming can be observed in multiple cancer types. Our data suggest that reprogrammed tissue-specific transcription promotes metastasis and should be targeted therapeutically.
Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Glioblastoma (GBM) is an incurable and highly heterogeneous brain tumor, originating from human neural stem/progenitor cells (hNSCs/hNPCs) years ahead of diagnosis. Despite extensive efforts to characterize hNSCs and end-stage GBM at bulk and single-cell levels, the de novo gliomagenic path from hNSCs is largely unknown due to technical difficulties in early-stage sampling and preclinical modeling. Here, we established two highly penetrant hNSC-derived malignant glioma models, which resemble the histopathology and transcriptional heterogeneity of human GBM. Integrating time-series analyses of whole-exome sequencing, bulk and single-cell RNA-seq, we reconstructed gliomagenic trajectories, and identified a persistent NSC-like population at all stages of tumorigenesis. Through trajectory analyses and lineage tracing, we showed that tumor progression is primarily driven by multi-step transcriptional reprogramming and fate-switches in the NSC-like cells, which sequentially generate malignant heterogeneity and induce tumor phenotype transitions. We further uncovered stage-specific oncogenic cascades, and among the candidate genes we functionally validated C1QL1 as a new glioma-promoting factor. Importantly, the neurogenic-to-gliogenic switch in NSC-like cells marks an early stage characterized by a burst of oncogenic alterations, during which transient AP-1 inhibition is sufficient to inhibit gliomagenesis. Together, our results reveal previously undercharacterized molecular dynamics and fate choices driving de novo gliomagenesis from hNSCs, and provide a blueprint for potential early-stage treatment/diagnosis for GBM.
West China Hospital, SCU