Basal breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease whose unfavourable outcome is determined by a high risk of tumour relapse and metastasis formation. The potential of a cancer cell to adapt to foreign environments is favoured by oncogenic cell plasticity, which is supported by epigenetic reprogramming. It was previously demonstrated that MYC acts as an oncogenic reprogramming factor by inducing epigenetic rewiring at enhancers (Poli et al., 2018). This causes the activation of oncogenic pathways and pro-metastatic transcription factors such as SOX9, but scant pieces of evidence support a causal link between epigenetic alteration of oncogenic enhancers and cell plasticity. In the present work, we investigated the establishment of an alternative epigenetic program during tumorigenesis in a basal breast cancer xenograft derived model. We found that tumorigenic cells, primary tumour derived cells and metastasis derived cells showed intrinsically different phenotypic and epigenetic signatures, and that metastatic derived cells were characterized by the acquisition of pro-metastatic features, such as migration and invasion, that may increase their metastatic potential. Specifically, we provided data supporting the notion that changes of the chromatin landscape during tumour progression increased the responsiveness of cancer cells to environmental cues that they may encounter during dissemination and colonization of distant organs. We focused on investigating the role played by putative regulatory elements localized around the SOX9 locus, whose chromatin accessibility and interaction with the SOX9 promoter were increased in metastatic cells. We observed that SOX9 expression was responsive to the activation of the retinoic acid (ATRA) pathway, and our data suggests that this response may be strengthened by transcriptional memory priming SOX9 regulatory elements after a first exposure, so that the response is faster and more robust after the second one. SOX9 transcription modulation and ATRA response were also shown to be linked to the activation of a quiescence program specific of metastatic cells, which we hypothesise may favour cells during the dissemination steps of the metastatic cascade.

Oncogenic enhancer reprogramming in triple negative breast cancer tumour progression / Michelatti, Daniela. - (2022 Jan 27), pp. 1-169. [10.15168/11572_327998]

Oncogenic enhancer reprogramming in triple negative breast cancer tumour progression

Michelatti, Daniela
2022-01-27

Abstract

Basal breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease whose unfavourable outcome is determined by a high risk of tumour relapse and metastasis formation. The potential of a cancer cell to adapt to foreign environments is favoured by oncogenic cell plasticity, which is supported by epigenetic reprogramming. It was previously demonstrated that MYC acts as an oncogenic reprogramming factor by inducing epigenetic rewiring at enhancers (Poli et al., 2018). This causes the activation of oncogenic pathways and pro-metastatic transcription factors such as SOX9, but scant pieces of evidence support a causal link between epigenetic alteration of oncogenic enhancers and cell plasticity. In the present work, we investigated the establishment of an alternative epigenetic program during tumorigenesis in a basal breast cancer xenograft derived model. We found that tumorigenic cells, primary tumour derived cells and metastasis derived cells showed intrinsically different phenotypic and epigenetic signatures, and that metastatic derived cells were characterized by the acquisition of pro-metastatic features, such as migration and invasion, that may increase their metastatic potential. Specifically, we provided data supporting the notion that changes of the chromatin landscape during tumour progression increased the responsiveness of cancer cells to environmental cues that they may encounter during dissemination and colonization of distant organs. We focused on investigating the role played by putative regulatory elements localized around the SOX9 locus, whose chromatin accessibility and interaction with the SOX9 promoter were increased in metastatic cells. We observed that SOX9 expression was responsive to the activation of the retinoic acid (ATRA) pathway, and our data suggests that this response may be strengthened by transcriptional memory priming SOX9 regulatory elements after a first exposure, so that the response is faster and more robust after the second one. SOX9 transcription modulation and ATRA response were also shown to be linked to the activation of a quiescence program specific of metastatic cells, which we hypothesise may favour cells during the dissemination steps of the metastatic cascade.
XXXIII
2019-2020
CIBIO (29/10/12-)
Biomolecular Sciences
Zippo, Alessio
Inga, Alberto
Siersbak, Rasmus; Scaffidi, Paola
no
Inglese
Settore BIO/13 - Biologia Applicata
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Descrizione: Tesi di Dottorato Daniela Michelatti
Tipologia: Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/327998
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