BA, Macalester College, Biology (2004)
Doctor of Philosophy, Northwestern University (2010)
Laura Attardi, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
p53 is a crucial tumour suppressor that responds to diverse stress signals by orchestrating specific cellular responses, including transient cell cycle arrest, cellular senescence and apoptosis, which are all processes associated with tumour suppression. However, recent studies have challenged the relative importance of these canonical cellular responses for p53-mediated tumour suppression and have highlighted roles for p53 in modulating other cellular processes, including metabolism, stem cell maintenance, invasion and metastasis, as well as communication within the tumour microenvironment. In this Opinion article, we discuss the roles of classical p53 functions, as well as emerging p53-regulated processes, in tumour suppression.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrc3711
View details for Web of Science ID 000335562000013
View details for PubMedID 24739573
The mechanisms by which the p53 tumor suppressor acts remain incompletely understood. To gain new insights into p53 biology, we used high-throughput sequencing to analyze global p53 transcriptional networks in primary mouse embryo fibroblasts in response to DNA damage. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing reveals 4785 p53-bound sites in the genome located near 3193 genes involved in diverse biological processes. RNA sequencing analysis shows that only a subset of p53-bound genes is transcriptionally regulated, yielding a list of 432 p53-bound and regulated genes. Interestingly, we identify a host of autophagy genes as direct p53 target genes. While the autophagy program is regulated predominantly by p53, the p53 family members p63 and p73 contribute to activation of this autophagy gene network. Induction of autophagy genes in response to p53 activation is associated with enhanced autophagy in diverse settings and depends on p53 transcriptional activity. While p53-induced autophagy does not affect cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage, it is important for both robust p53-dependent apoptosis triggered by DNA damage and transformation suppression by p53. Together, our data highlight an intimate connection between p53 and autophagy through a vast transcriptional network and indicate that autophagy contributes to p53-dependent apoptosis and cancer suppression.
View details for DOI 10.1101/gad.212282.112
View details for PubMedID 23651856
We measured anti-Haemophilus influenzae type a capsular polysaccharide serum immunoglobulin G antibodies in cord blood sera from Mexican (n = 68) and Chilean mothers (n = 72) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Measurable antibodies were found in 79.3% of samples. Immunoglobulin G antibodies correlated with serum bactericidal activity (r = 0.66). This enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay can be used for the evaluation of adaptive immune responses to Haemophilus influenzae type a and serosurveillance studies in populations at risk.
View details for DOI 10.1097/INF.0b013e31825ab166
View details for Web of Science ID 000306572500026
View details for PubMedID 22549435
p53 is a pivotal tumor suppressor that induces apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest and senescence in response to stress signals. Although p53 transcriptional activation is important for these responses, the mechanisms underlying tumor suppression have been elusive. To date, no single or compound mouse knockout of specific p53 target genes has recapitulated the dramatic tumor predisposition that characterizes p53-null mice. Recently, however, analysis of knock-in mice expressing p53 transactivation domain mutants has revealed a group of primarily novel direct p53 target genes that may mediate tumor suppression in vivo. We present here an overview of well-known p53 target genes and the tumor phenotypes of the cognate knockout mice, and address the recent identification of new p53 transcriptional targets and how they enhance our understanding of p53 transcriptional networks central for tumor suppression.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.10.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000300870600004
View details for PubMedID 22154076
The link between EBV infection and Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is strong, but the mechanism underlying that link has been elusive. We have developed a mouse model for EBV-associated BL in which LMP2A, an EBV latency protein, and MYC are expressed in B cells. Our model has demonstrated the ability of LMP2A to accelerate tumor onset, increase spleen size, and bypass p53 inactivation. Here we describe the results of total gene expression analysis of tumor and pretumor B cells from our transgenic mouse model. Although we see many phenotypic differences and changes in gene expression in pretumor B cells, the transcriptional profiles of tumor cells from LMP2A/?-MYC and ?-MYC mice are strikingly similar, with fewer than 20 genes differentially expressed. We evaluated the functional significance of one of the most interesting differentially expressed genes, Egr1, and found that it was not required for acceleration of tumor onset by LMP2A. Our studies demonstrate the remarkable ability of LMP2A to affect the pretumor B-cell phenotype and tumorigenesis without substantially altering gene expression in tumor cells.
View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-02-338434
View details for Web of Science ID 000298401000022
View details for PubMedID 22039254
Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is characterized by translocation of the MYC gene to an immunoglobulin locus. Transgenic mouse models have been used to study the molecular changes that are necessary to bypass tumor suppression in the presence of translocated MYC. Inactivation of the p53 pathway is a major step to tumor formation in mouse models that is also seen in human disease. Human BL is often highly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The EBV latency protein latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) is known to promote B cell survival by affecting levels of pro-survival factors. Using LMP2A transgenic mouse models, we have identified a novel mechanism that permits lymphomagenesis in the presence of an intact p53 pathway. This work uncovers a contribution of EBV to molecular events that have documented importance in BL pathogenesis, and may underlie the poorly understood link between EBV and BL.
View details for Web of Science ID 000276307700021
View details for PubMedID 20160479
Although Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is linked to Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), the role of the virus in lymphomagenesis is unclear. LMP2A, encoded by EBV, can be detected in BL biopsies and has prosurvival functions. We generated mice expressing MYC and LMP2A in B cells. LMP2A/lambda-MYC mice show greatly accelerated tumor onset. Similar to previous work, we found p53 mutations in lambda-MYC tumors; however, we detected no mutations in the rapidly arising LMP2A/lambda-MYC tumors. We further demonstrate that the p53 pathway is functionally intact in LMP2A/lambda-MYC tumors, which have increased levels of PUMA and sensitivity to p53 activation by Nutlin. This work shows that LMP2A can permit tumorigenesis in the presence of an intact p53 pathway, identifying an important contribution of EBV to BL.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0907994106
View details for Web of Science ID 000270963100062
View details for PubMedID 19815507
ExoU, a phospholipase injected into host cells by the type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, leads to rapid cytolytic cell death. Although the importance of ExoU in infection is well established, the mechanism by which this toxin kills host cells is less clear. To gain insight into how ExoU causes cell death, we examined its subcellular localization following transfection or type III secretion/translocation into HeLa cells. Although rapid cell lysis precluded visualization of wild-type ExoU by fluorescence microscopy, catalytically inactive toxin was readily detected at the periphery of HeLa cells. Biochemical analysis confirmed that ExoU was targeted to the membrane fraction of transfected cells. Visualization of ExoU peptides fused with green fluorescent protein indicated that the domain responsible for this targeting was in the C terminus of ExoU, between residues 550 and 687. Localization to the plasma membrane occurred within 1 h of expression, which is consistent with the kinetics of cytotoxicity. Together, these results indicate that a domain between residues 550 and 687 of ExoU targets this toxin to the plasma membrane, a process that may be important in cytotoxicity.
View details for DOI 10.1128/IAI.74.5.2552-2561.2006
View details for Web of Science ID 000237311200006
View details for PubMedID 16622190
We developed fluorescent mono- and multivalent opsonophagocytic assays (fOPA and fmOPA, respectively) specific for seven Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes (4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F). Bacterial survival was quantitated with alamar blue, a fluorescent metabolic indicator. Both fOPA and fmOPA allow for determination of viability endpoints for up to seven serotypes with high levels of agreement to the reference method. The fmOPA eliminates colony counting, reduces serum volume, and produces results in 1 day.
View details for Web of Science ID 000232569700017
View details for PubMedID 16210490