Regulation of Gene Expression in Multiple Myeloma Cells and Normal Fibroblasts Integrative Bioinformatic and Experimental Approaches

University dissertation from uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The work presented in this thesis applies integrative genomic and experimental approaches to investigate mechanisms involved in regulation of gene expression in the context of disease and normal cell biology.In papers I and II, we have explored the role of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in multiple myeloma (MM). By using a bioinformatic approach we identified the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) to be a common denominator for the underexpressed gene signature in MM. By using inhibitors of the PRC2 we showed an activation of the genes silenced by H3K27me3 and a reduction in the tumor load and increased overall survival in the in vivo 5TMM model. Using ChIP-sequencing we defined the distribution of H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 marks in MM patients cells. In an integrated bioinformatic approach, the H3K27me3-associated genes significantly correlated to under-expression in patients with less favorable survival. Thus, our data indicates the presence of a common under-expressed gene profile and provides a rationale for implementing new therapies focusing on epigenetic alterations in MM.In paper III we address the existence of a small cell population in MM presenting with differential tumorigenic properties in the 5T33MM murine model. We report that the predominant population of CD138+ cells had higher engraftment potential, higher clonogenic growth, whereas the CD138- MM cells presented with less mature phenotype and higher drug resistance. Our findings suggest that while designing treatment regimes for MM, both the cellpopulations must be targeted.In paper IV we have studied the general mechanism of differential gene expression regulation by CGGBP1 in response to growth signals in normal human fibroblasts. We found that CGGBP1 binding affects global gene expression by RNA Polymerase II. This is mediated by Alu RNAdependentinhibition of RNA Polymerase II. In presence of growth signals CGGBP1 is retained in the nuclei and exhibits enhanced Alu binding thus inhibiting RNA Polymerase III binding on Alus. Hence we suggest a mechanism by which CGGBP1 orchestrates Alu RNA-mediated regulation of RNA Polymerase II. This thesis provides new insights for using integrative bioinformatic approaches to decipher gene expression regulation mechanisms in MM and in normal cells.