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1.  Beta-estradiol attenuates hypoxic pulmonary hypertension by stabilizing the expression of p27kip1 in rats 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):182.
Pulmonary vascular structure remodeling (PVSR) is a hallmark of pulmonary hypertension. P27kip1, one of critical cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, has been shown to mediate anti-proliferation effects on various vascular cells. Beta-estradiol (β-E2) has numerous biological protective effects including attenuation of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). In the present study, we employed β-E2 to investigate the roles of p27kip1 and its closely-related kinase (Skp-2) in the progression of PVSR and HPH.
Sprague-Dawley rats treated with or without β-E2 were challenged by intermittent chronic hypoxia exposure for 4 weeks to establish hypoxic pulmonary hypertension models, which resemble moderate severity of hypoxia-induced PH in humans. Subsequently, hemodynamic and pulmonary pathomorphology data were gathered. Additionally, pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) were cultured to determine the anti-proliferation effect of β-E2 under hypoxia exposure. Western blotting or reverse transcriptional polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were adopted to test p27kip1, Skp-2 and Akt-P changes in rat lung tissue and cultured PASMCs.
Chronic hypoxia significantly increased right ventricular systolic pressures (RVSP), weight of right ventricle/left ventricle plus septum (RV/LV+S) ratio, medial width of pulmonary arterioles, accompanied with decreased expression of p27kip1 in rats. Whereas, β-E2 treatment repressed the elevation of RVSP, RV/LV+S, attenuated the PVSR of pulmonary arterioles induced by chronic hypoxia, and stabilized the expression of p27kip1. Study also showed that β-E2 application suppressed the proliferation of PASMCs and elevated the expression of p27kip1 under hypoxia exposure. In addition, experiments both in vivo and in vitro consistently indicated an escalation of Skp-2 and phosphorylated Akt under hypoxia condition. Besides, all these changes were alleviated in the presence of β-E2.
Our results suggest that β-E2 can effectively attenuate PVSR and HPH. The underlying mechanism may partially be through the increased p27kip1 by inhibiting Skp-2 through Akt signal pathway. Therefore, targeting up-regulation of p27kip1 or down-regulation of Skp-2 might provide new strategies for treatment of HPH.
PMCID: PMC3022723  PMID: 21182801
2.  Effect of hypoxia and Beraprost sodium on human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation: the role of p27kip1 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):77.
Hypoxia induces the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) in vivo and in vitro, and prostacyclin analogues are thought to inhibit the growth of PASMC. Previous studies suggest that p27kip1, a kind of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, play an important role in the smooth muscle cell proliferation. However, the mechanism of hypoxia and the subcellular interactions between p27kip1 and prostacyclin analogues in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (HPASMC) are not fully understood.
We investigated the role of p27kip1 in the ability of Beraprost sodium (BPS; a stable prostacyclin analogue) to inhibit the proliferation of HPASMC during hypoxia. To clarify the biological effects of hypoxic air exposure and BPS on HPASMC, the cells were cultured in a hypoxic chamber under various oxygen concentrations (0.1–21%). Thereafter, DNA synthesis was measured as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, the cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining. The p27kip1 mRNA and protein expression and it's stability was measured by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. Further, we assessed the role of p27kip1 in HPASMC proliferation using p27kip1 gene knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection.
Although severe hypoxia (0.1% oxygen) suppressed the proliferation of serum-stimulated HPASMC, moderate hypoxia (2% oxygen) enhanced proliferation in accordance with enhanced p27kip1 protein degradation, whereas BPS suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by suppressing p27kip1 degradation with intracellular cAMP-elevation. The 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP), a cAMP analogue, had similar action as BPS in the regulation of p27kip1. Moderate hypoxia did not affect the stability of p27kip1 protein expression, but PDGF, known as major hypoxia-induced growth factors, significantly decreased p27kip1 protein stability. We also demonstrated that BPS and 8-Br-cAMP suppressed HPASMC proliferation under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions by blocking p27kip1 mRNA degradation. Furthermore, p27kip1 gene silencing partially attenuated the effects of BPS and partially restored hypoxia-induced proliferation.
Our study suggests that moderate hypoxia induces HPASMC proliferation, which is partially dependent of p27kip1 down-regulation probably via the induction of growth factors such as PDGF, and BPS inhibits both the cell proliferation and p27kip1 mRNA degradation through cAMP pathway.
PMCID: PMC2164950  PMID: 17974037
3.  A new tumour suppression mechanism by p27Kip1: EGFR down-regulation mediated by JNK/c-Jun pathway inhibition 
Biochemical Journal  2014;463(Pt 3):383-392.
p27Kip1 is a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases that drive G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Reduced p27Kip1 expression is prevalent in a wide range of human tumours; however, the exact mechanism(s) of p27Kip1-mediated tumour suppression remains obscure. In the present study, we identified a close inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) expression: the parental T24 human bladder cancer cells had high p27Kip1 expression but low EGFR expression and, in striking contrast, the metastatic derivative of T24 (T24T) had low p27Kip1 expression but high EGFR expression. This relationship was also found in various human cancer tissues, and was not only just correlative but also causal; depletion of p27Kip1 in MEF (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cells resulted in markedly elevated EGFR expression, a result reproducible with an Egfr promoter-luciferase reporter in both T24 and MEF cells, suggesting transcriptional repression of EGFR by p27Kip1. Indeed, p27Kip1 was found to regulate EGFR expression via the JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase)/c-Jun transcription factor: p27Kip1 deficiency activated JNK/c-Jun, whereas inhibition of JNK/c-Jun by dominant-negative mutants dramatically repressed Egfr transcription. Furthermore, the proximal promoter of the Egfr gene was crucial for its transcription, where the recruiting activity of c-Jun was much greater in p27Kip1−/− cells than in p27Kip1+/+ cells. Introduction of GFP–p27Kip1 into T24T cells suppressed JNK/c-Jun activation, EGFR expression and anchorage-independent growth. The results of the present study demonstrate that p27Kip1 suppresses JNK/c-Jun activation and EGFR expression in MEFs and human bladder cancer cells, and the results obtained are consistent with those from human cancer specimens. The present study provides new insights into p27Kip1 suppression of cancer cell growth, migration and metastasis.
An inverse relationship between p27Kip1 and EGFR expression in parental T24 human bladder cancer cells and various human cancer tissues was found. Depletion of p27Kip1 in cells markedly elevated EGFR expression through transcriptional repression of Egfr by p27Kip1 via the JNK/c-Jun cascade.
PMCID: PMC4209780  PMID: 25121353
bladder cancer; c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun pathway; epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); p27Kip1; signal transduction pathway; AP-1, activator protein 1; BME, basal medium Eagle; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HSF-1, heat-shock factor 1; Hsp, heat-shock protein; IHC, immunohistochemistry; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; MEF, mouse embryonic fibroblast; RT, reverse transcription; SP1, specificity protein 1
4.  Patterns of p57Kip2 Expression in Embryonic Rat Brain Suggest Roles in Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit and Neuronal Differentiation 
Developmental neurobiology  2009;69(1):1-21.
In developing central nervous system, a variety of mechanisms couple cell cycle exit to differentiation during neurogenesis. The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p57Kip2 controls the transition from proliferation to differentiation in many tissues, but roles in developing brain remain uncertain. To characterize possible functions, we defined p57Kip2 protein expression in embryonic day (E) 12.5 to 20.5 rat brains using immunohistochemistry combined with markers of proliferation and differentiation. p57Kip2 was localized primarily in cell nuclei and positive cells formed two distinct patterns including wide dispersion and laminar aggregation that were brain region-specific. From E12.5 to E16.5, p57Kip2 expression was detected mainly in ventricular (VZ) and/or mantle zones of hippocampus, septum, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain and spinal cord. After E18.5, p57Kip2 was detected in select regions undergoing differentiation. p57Kip2 expression was also compared to regional transcription factors, including Ngn2, Nkx2.1 and Pax6. Time course studies performed in diencephalon showed that p57Kip2 immunoreactivity co-localized with BrdU at 8 hr in nuclei exhibiting the wide dispersion pattern, whereas co-localization in the laminar pattern occurred only later. Moreover, p57Kip2 frequently co-localized with neuronal marker, β-III tubulin. Finally, we characterized relationships of p57Kip2 to CDK inhibitor p27Kip1: In proliferative regions, p57Kip2 expression preceded p27Kip1 as cells underwent differentiation, though the proteins co-localized in substantial numbers of cells, suggesting potentially related yet distinct functions of Cip/Kip family members during neurogenesis. Our observations that p57Kip2 exhibits nuclear expression as precursors exit the cell cycle and begin expressing neuronal characteristics suggests that the CDK inhibitor contributes to regulating the transition from proliferation to differentiation during brain development.
PMCID: PMC2967216  PMID: 18814313
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2; Embryonic Development/physiology; Nervous System/cytology/*embryology; Brain/embryology; Neuronal Differentiation
5.  14-3-3ε Plays a Role in Cardiac Ventricular Compaction by Regulating the Cardiomyocyte Cell Cycle 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(24):5089-5102.
Trabecular myocardium accounts for the majority of the ventricles during early cardiogenesis, but compact myocardium is the primary component at later developmental stages. Elucidation of the genes regulating compact myocardium development is essential to increase our understanding of left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC), a cardiomyopathy characterized by increased ratios of trabecular to compact myocardium. 14-3-3ε is an adapter protein expressed in the lateral plate mesoderm, but its in vivo cardiac functions remain to be defined. Here we show that 14-3-3ε is expressed in the developing mouse heart as well as in cardiomyocytes. 14-3-3ε deletion did not appear to induce compensation by other 14-3-3 isoforms but led to ventricular noncompaction, with features similar to LVNC, resulting from a selective reduction in compact myocardium thickness. Abnormal compaction derived from a 50% decrease in cardiac proliferation as a result of a reduced number of cardiomyocytes in G2/M and the accumulation of cardiomyocytes in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. These defects originated from downregulation of cyclin E1 and upregulation of p27Kip1, possibly through both transcriptional and posttranslational mechanisms. Our work shows that 14-3-3ε regulates cardiogenesis and growth of the compact ventricular myocardium by modulating the cardiomyocyte cell cycle via both cyclin E1 and p27Kip1. These data are consistent with the long-held view that human LVNC may result from compaction arrest, and they implicate 14-3-3ε as a new candidate gene in congenital human cardiomyopathies.
PMCID: PMC3510533  PMID: 23071090
6.  Catestatin Improves Post-Ischemic Left Ventricular Function and Decreases Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Heart 
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology  2010;30(8):1171-1179.
The Chromogranin A (CgA)-derived anti-hypertensive peptide catestatin (CST) antagonizes catecholamine secretion, and is a negative myocardial inotrope acting via a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism. It is not known whether CST contributes to ischemia/reperfusion injury or is a component of a cardioprotective response to limit injury. Here, we tested whether CST by virtue of its negative inotropic activity improves post-ischemic cardiac function and cardiomyocyte survival. Three groups of isolated perfused hearts from adult Wistar rats underwent 30-min ischemia and 120-min reperfusion (I/R, Group 1), or were post-conditioned by brief ischemic episodes (PostC, 5-cycles of 10-s I/R at the beginning of 120-min reperfusion, Group 2), or with exogenous CST (75 nM for 20 min, CST-Post, Group-3) at the onset of reperfusion. Perfusion pressure and left ventricular pressure (LVP) were monitored. Infarct size was evaluated with nitroblue-tetrazolium staining. The CST (5 nM) effects were also tested in simulated ischemia/reperfusion experiments on cardiomyocytes isolated from young-adult rats, evaluating cell survival with propidium iodide labeling. Infarct size was 61 ± 6% of risk area in hearts subjected to I/R only. PostC reduced infarct size to 34 ± 5%. Infarct size in CST-Post was 36 ± 3% of risk area (P < 0.05 respect to I/R). CST-Post reduced post-ischemic rise of diastolic LVP, an index of contracture, and significantly improved post-ischemic recovery of developed LVP. In isolated cardiomyocytes, CST increased the cell viability rate by about 65% after simulated ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest a novel cardioprotective role for CST, which appears mainly due to a direct reduction of post-ischemic myocardial damages and dysfunction, rather than to an involvement of adrenergic terminals and/or endothelium.
PMCID: PMC3008938  PMID: 21104119
Chromogranin A; Cardioprotection; Ischemia; Post-conditioning; Reperfusion injury
7.  PTEN inhibitors cause a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect in mice 
European journal of pharmacology  2010;650(1):298-302.
Inactivation of phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) decreases cardiac contractility under basal conditions and induces cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, the pharmacological effect of PTEN inhibitors on cardiac contractility has not been studied before. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that PTEN inhibition decreases cardiac contractility in mice. We first exposed isolated mouse hearts to the PTEN inhibitor bpV(phen) (40 μM), the phosphoinositide-3 kinase inhibitor wortmannin (1 μM), and the PTEN-resistant PIP3 analog 3-phosphorothioate-PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (3-PT-PTP, 0.5 μM) for 10 min. Left ventricular pressure was measured by a Mikro-tip pressure catheter. We then inhibited PTEN in mice by intra-peritoneal injection of VO-OHpic (10 μg/kg) 30 min before ischemia and then exposed them to 30 min of ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion. At the end of the experiments, hearts were isolated for measurement of myocardial infarct size by 1.5 % triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Left ventricular systolic pressure and heart rate were significantly decreased by bpV(phen). Consistent with the result, the maximal rate of left ventricular pressure increase or decrease was significantly decreased by bpV(phen). 3-PT-PIP3 mimicked the effect of bpV(phen), and the opposite effect on cardiac contractility was seen with wortmannin. Moreover, inhibition of PTEN in vivo by VO-OHpic decreased left ventricular systolic pressure and heart rate before ischemia, but resulted in an increase in cardiac functional recovery and a decrease in myocardial infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion. In conclusion, PTEN inhibition causes a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect while inducing cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC2997895  PMID: 20951693
PTEN; PI3K; cardiac contractility; reperfusion injury; myocardial infarction
8.  ErbB2 Potentiates Breast Tumor Proliferation through Modulation of p27Kip1-Cdk2 Complex Formation: Receptor Overexpression Does Not Determine Growth Dependency 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(9):3210-3223.
Overexpression of the ErbB2 receptor, a major component of the ErbB receptor signaling network, contributes to the development of a number of human cancers. ErbB2 presents itself, therefore, as a target for antibody-mediated therapies. In this respect, anti-ErbB2 monoclonal antibody 4D5 specifically inhibits the growth of tumor cells overexpressing ErbB2. We have analyzed the effect of 4D5-mediated ErbB2 inhibition on the cell cycle of the breast tumor cell line BT474. 4D5 treatment of BT474 cells resulted in a G1 arrest, preceded by rapid dephosphorylation of ErbB2, inhibition of cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways, accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1, and inactivation of cyclin-Cdk2 complexes. Time courses demonstrated that 4D5 treatment redirects p27Kip1 onto Cdk2 complexes, an event preceding increased p27Kip1 expression; this correlates with the downregulation of c-Myc and D-type cyclins (proteins involved in p27Kip1 sequestration) and the loss of p27Kip1 from Cdk4 complexes. Similar events were observed in ErbB2-overexpressing SKBR3 cells, which exhibited reduced proliferation in response to 4D5 treatment. Here, p27Kip1 redistribution resulted in partial Cdk2 inactivation, consistent with a G1 accumulation. Moreover, p27Kip1 protein levels remained constant. Antisense-mediated inhibition of p27Kip1 expression in 4D5-treated BT474 cells further demonstrated that in the absence of p27Kip1 accumulation, p27Kip1 redirection onto Cdk2 complexes is sufficient to inactivate Cdk2 and establish the G1 block. These data suggest that ErbB2 overexpression leads to potentiation of cyclin E-Cdk2 activity through regulation of p27Kip1 sequestration proteins, thus deregulating the G1/S transition. Moreover, through comparison with an ErbB2-overexpressing cell line insensitive to 4D5 treatment, we demonstrate the specificity of these cell cycle events and show that ErbB2 overexpression alone is insufficient to determine the cellular response to receptor inhibition.
PMCID: PMC85615  PMID: 10757805
9.  Susceptibility to myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury at early stage of type 1 diabetes in rats 
Large body of evidences accumulated in clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that hearts of diabetic subjects are more sensitive to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), which results in a higher rate of mortality at post-operation than that of non-diabetes. However, experimental results are equivocal and point to either increased or decreased susceptibility of the diabetic hearts to IRI, especially at the early stage of the disease. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that the duration/severity of the indexed ischemia is a major determinant of the vulnerability to myocardial IRI at early stage of diabetes.
Four weeks streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic (D) and non-diabetic (C) Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive 30 or 45 min of left anterior descending artery ligation followed by 2 or 3 hours of reperfusion, respectively. Cardiac function was recorded by using Pressure-Volume (PV) conduction system. Myocardial infarct size was determined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Plasma Creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, myocardial nitric oxide(NO) content and nitrotyrosine formation, 15-F2t-Isoprostane and plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured with colorimetric assays. Cardiomyocyte apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL staining. Myocardial TNFα, Caspase-3, STAT3, Akt, and GSK-3β were determined by Western blotting.
Prolongation of ischemia but not reperfusion from 30 min to 45 min significantly increased infarct size in D compared to C rats (P < 0.05), accompanied with significantly increased plasma CK-MB (P < 0.05). Prolongation of the duration of either ischemia or reperfusion significantly increased plasma LDH release and myocardial 15-F2t-Isoprostane and reduced plasma SOD activity, with concomitant reduction of myocardial NO and increase of nitrotyrosine formation in D relative to C (P < 0.05). Prolongation of ischemia and reperfusion significantly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and increased the peak rate of pressure, accompanied with increased end systolic pressure in D relative to C rats (P < 0.05) but reduced phosphorylations of myocardial STAT3 at site Ser727 and Akt at site Ser473 as well as GSK-3β at Ser 9 (P < 0.05).
Diabetic hearts, even at early stage of the disease are more sensitive to IRI, and this increased severity of post-ischemic myocardial injury depends more on the duration of ischemia than that of reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3847499  PMID: 24041262
Ischemia reperfusion injury; Diabetes mellitus; Infarct size
10.  Partial hepatectomy in rats results in immediate down-regulation of p27Kip1 in residual liver tissue by transcriptional and post-translational processes 
Purpose: The cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 may be involved in regulating re-entry of residual hepatocytes into the cell cycle upon loss of liver tissue by partial hepatectomy (PH). As yet, changes in Kip1 expression during the initial period following PH are not well-characterized. We investigated immediate changes in Kip1 mRNA and protein levels as well as changes in Kip1 phosphorylation in liver tissue within the relevant time window between surgery and the onset of DNA synthesis at 10–12 h.
Methods: We used real-time PCR, quantitative Western blotting, and immune histochemistry on tissue samples of adult rats obtained during or between 2 and 10 h after surgical removal of two thirds of the liver to analyze Kip1 mRNA or protein levels, respectively, or to quantify nuclear expression of Kip1.
Results: Kip1 mRNA was down-regulated within 4 h after PH by 60% and remained unchanged thereafter up to 10 h. With a lag phase of 2–3 h, Kip1-protein was down-regulated to a level of 40% of the control. The level of Thr187-phosphorylated Kip1 started to increase at 4 h and reached a maximum level at 8–10 h after PH. Kip1 immunoreactivity was observed in 30% of the hepatocytes before PH. Within 6–8 h after PH, more than half of the hepatocytes lost nuclear Kip1 signals. Kip1-specific micro-RNAs (miRNA221, miRNA222) were not changed upon PH.
Conclusions: A portion of hepatocytes in adult rats constitutively express Kip1 and down-regulate Kip1 immediately upon PH. This response involves transcriptional processes (loss of Kip1 mRNA) as well as accelerated degradation of existing protein (increase in pThr187-phosphorylation mediating polyubiquitinylation and proteasomal degradation of Kip1). Kip1 down-regulation occurs precisely within the intervall between surgery and onset of DNA synthesis which supports the hypothesis that it mediates activation of G0/0S-phase Cdk/cyclin-complexes and re-entry of hepatocytes into the cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3680744  PMID: 23781207
cell cycle regulator; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; Kip1; compensatory growth; liver regeneration; rat hepatocytes; cell proliferation
11.  Cortactin Modulates RhoA Activation and Expression of Cip/Kip Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors To Promote Cell Cycle Progression in 11q13-Amplified Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells ▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(21):5057-5070.
The cortactin oncoprotein is frequently overexpressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), often due to amplification of the encoding gene (CTTN). While cortactin overexpression enhances invasive potential, recent research indicates that it also promotes cell proliferation, but how cortactin regulates the cell cycle machinery is unclear. In this article we report that stable short hairpin RNA-mediated cortactin knockdown in the 11q13-amplified cell line FaDu led to increased expression of the Cip/Kip cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 and inhibition of S-phase entry. These effects were associated with increased binding of p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 to cyclin D1- and E1-containing complexes and decreased retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation. Cortactin regulated expression of p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels, respectively. The direct roles of p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, and p57Kip2 downstream of cortactin were confirmed by the transient knockdown of each CDKI by specific small interfering RNAs, which led to partial rescue of cell cycle progression. Interestingly, FaDu cells with reduced cortactin levels also exhibited a significant diminution in RhoA expression and activity, together with decreased expression of Skp2, a critical component of the SCF ubiquitin ligase that targets p27Kip1 and p57Kip2 for degradation. Transient knockdown of RhoA in FaDu cells decreased expression of Skp2, enhanced the level of Cip/Kip CDKIs, and attenuated S-phase entry. These findings identify a novel mechanism for regulation of proliferation in 11q13-amplified HNSCC cells, in which overexpressed cortactin acts via RhoA to decrease expression of Cip/Kip CDKIs, and highlight Skp2 as a downstream effector for RhoA in this process.
PMCID: PMC2953065  PMID: 20805359
12.  Phosphorylation of the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21Cip1 on Serine 130 Is Essential for Viral Cyclin-Mediated Bypass of a p21Cip1-Imposed G1 Arrest 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(6):2430-2440.
K cyclin encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus confers resistance to the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitors p16Ink4A, p21Cip1, and p27Kip1 on the associated cdk6. We have previously shown that K cyclin expression enforces S-phase entry on cells overexpressing p27Kip1 by promoting phosphorylation of p27Kip1 on threonine 187, triggering p27Kip1 down-regulation. Since p21Cip1 acts in a manner similar to that of p27Kip1, we have investigated the subversion of a p21Cip1-induced G1 arrest by K cyclin. Here, we show that p21Cip1 is associated with K cyclin both in overexpression models and in primary effusion lymphoma cells and is a substrate of the K cyclin/cdk6 complex, resulting in phosphorylation of p21Cip1 on serine 130. This phosphoform of p21Cip1 appeared unable to associate with cdk2 in vivo. We further demonstrate that phosphorylation on serine 130 is essential for K cyclin-mediated release of a p21Cip1-imposed G1 arrest. Moreover, we show that under physiological conditions of cell cycle arrest due to elevated levels of p21Cip1 resulting from oxidative stress, K cyclin expression enabled S-phase entry and was associated with p21Cip1 phosphorylation and partial restoration of cdk2 kinase activity. Thus, expression of the viral cyclin enables cells to subvert the cell cycle inhibitory function of p21Cip1 by promoting cdk6-dependent phosphorylation of this antiproliferative protein.
PMCID: PMC1430279  PMID: 16508017
13.  Myocardin regulates BMP10 expression and is required for heart development 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(10):3678-3691.
Myocardin is a muscle lineage–restricted transcriptional coactivator that has been shown to transduce extracellular signals to the nucleus required for SMC differentiation. We now report the discovery of a myocardin/BMP10 (where BMP10 indicates bone morphogenetic protein 10) signaling pathway required for cardiac growth, chamber maturation, and embryonic survival. Myocardin-null (Myocd) embryos and embryos harboring a cardiomyocyte-restricted mutation in the Myocd gene exhibited myocardial hypoplasia, defective atrial and ventricular chamber maturation, heart failure, and embryonic lethality. Cardiac hypoplasia was caused by decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation accompanied by a dramatic increase in programmed cell death. Defective chamber maturation and the block in cardiomyocyte proliferation were caused in part by a block in BMP10 signaling. Myocardin transactivated the Bmp10 gene via binding of a serum response factor–myocardin protein complex to a nonconsensus CArG element in the Bmp10 promoter. Expression of p57kip2, a BMP10-regulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, was induced in Myocd–/– hearts, while BMP10-activated cardiogenic transcription factors, including NKX2.5 and MEF2c, were repressed. Remarkably, when embryonic Myocd–/– hearts were cultured ex vivo in BMP10-conditioned medium, the defects in cardiomyocyte proliferation and p57kip2 expression were rescued. Taken together, these data identify a heretofore undescribed myocardin/BMP10 signaling pathway that regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and apoptosis in the embryonic heart.
PMCID: PMC3461917  PMID: 22996691
14.  Impaired cardiac ischemic tolerance in spontaneously hypertensive rats is attenuated by adaptation to chronic and acute stress 
The myocardial response to ischemia may be markedly augmented by risk factors associated with lifestyle, leading to left ventricular hypertrophy – an important contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension impairs heart function, and may negatively affect the outcome of ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, ischemic tolerance may persist in altered hearts of hypertensive animals, and may be modified by short- or long-term adaptation to stressful conditions. This article discusses differences in the effects of long-term adaptation to crowding stress and short-term adaptation to ischemic stress, on ischemic tolerance in altered hearts of hypertensive rats.
Chronic hypertension may have a negative impact on the myocardial response to ischemia. On the other hand, intrinsic ischemic tolerance may persist even in the pathologically altered hearts of hypertensive animals, and may be modified by short- or long-term adaptation to different stressful conditions. The effects of long-term limitation of living space (ie, crowding stress [CS]) and brief ischemia-induced stress on cardiac response to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury are not yet fully characterized in hypertensive subjects. The present study was designed to test the influence of chronic and acute stress on the myocardial response to I/R in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) compared with their effects in normotensive counterparts. In both groups, chronic, eight-week CS was induced by caging five rats per cage in cages designed for two rats (200 cm2/rat), while controls (C) were housed four to a cage in cages designed for six animals (480 cm2/rat). Acute stress was evoked by one cycle of I/R (5 min each, ischemic preconditioning) before sustained I/R in isolated Langendorff-perfused hearts of normotensive and SHR rats. At baseline conditions, the effects of CS were manifested only as a further increase in blood pressure in SHR, and by marked limitation of coronary perfusion in normotensive animals, while no changes in heart mechanical function were observed in any of the groups. Postischemic recovery of contractile function, severity of ventricular arrhythmias and lethal injury (infarction size) were worsened in the hypertrophied hearts of C-SHR compared with normotensive C. However, myo-cardial stunning and reperfusion-induced ventricular arrhythmias were attenuated by CS in SHR, which was different from deterioration of I/R injury in the hearts of normotensive animals. In contrast, ischemic preconditioning conferred an effective protection against I/R in both groups, although the extent of anti-infarct and anti-arrhythmic effects was lower in SHR. Both forms of stress may improve the altered response to ischemia in hypertensive subjects. In contrast to short-term preconditioning stress, chronic psychosocial stress was associated with a higher risk of lethal arrhythmias and contractile failure in normotensive animals exposed to an acute ischemic challenge.
PMCID: PMC3209549  PMID: 22065943
Adaptation; Hypertension; Hypertrophy; Myocardial ischemia; Preconditioning; Social stress
15.  The Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57Kip2 Regulates Cell Cycle Exit, Differentiation, and Migration of Embryonic Cerebral Cortical Precursors 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2011;21(8):1840-1856.
Mounting evidence indicates cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) of the Cip/Kip family, including p57Kip2 and p27Kip1, control not only cell cycle exit but also corticogenesis. Nevertheless, distinct activities of p57Kip2 remain poorly defined. Using in vivo and culture approaches, we show p57Kip2 overexpression at E14.5–15.5 elicits precursor cell cycle exit, promotes transition from proliferation to neuronal differentiation, and enhances process outgrowth, while opposite effects occur in p57Kip2-deficient precursors. Studies at later ages indicate p57Kip2 overexpression also induces precocious glial differentiation, suggesting stage-dependent effects. In embryonic cortex, p57Kip2 overexpression advances cell radial migration and alters postnatal laminar positioning. While both CKIs induce differentiation, p57Kip2 was twice as effective as p27Kip1 in inducing neuronal differentiation and was not permissive to astrogliogenic effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor, suggesting that the CKIs differentially modulate cell fate decisions. At molecular levels, although highly conserved N-terminal regions of both CKIs elicit cycle withdrawal and differentiation, the C-terminal region of p57Kip2 alone inhibits in vivo migration. Furthermore, p57Kip2 effects on neurogenesis and gliogenesis require the N-terminal cyclin/CDK binding/inhibitory domains, while previous p27Kip1 studies report cell cycle-independent functions. These observations suggest p57Kip2 coordinates multiple stages of corticogenesis and exhibits distinct and common activities compared with related family member p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3138513  PMID: 21245411
gliogenesis; in utero electroporation; neurite outgrowth; neurogenesis; transfection
16.  X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein-Mediated Attenuation of Apoptosis, Using a Novel Cardiac-Enhanced Adeno-Associated Viral Vector 
Human Gene Therapy  2012;23(6):635-646.
Successful amelioration of cardiac dysfunction and heart failure through gene therapy approaches will require a transgene effective at attenuating myocardial injury, and subsequent remodeling, using an efficient and safe delivery vehicle. Our laboratory has established a well-curated, high-quality repository of human myocardial tissues that we use as a discovery engine to identify putative therapeutic transgene targets, as well as to better understand the molecular basis of human heart failure. By using this rare resource we were able to examine age- and sex-matched left ventricular samples from (1) end-stage failing human hearts and (2) nonfailing human hearts and were able to identify the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) as a novel target for treating cardiac dysfunction. We demonstrate that XIAP is diminished in failing human hearts, indicating that this potent inhibitor of apoptosis may be central in protecting the human heart from cellular injury culminating in heart failure. Efforts to ameliorate heart failure through delivery of XIAP compelled the design of a novel adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector, termed SASTG, that achieves highly efficient transduction in mouse heart and in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Increased XIAP expression achieved with the SASTG vector inhibits caspase-3/7 activity in neonatal cardiomyocytes after induction of apoptosis through three common cardiac stresses: protein kinase C-γ inhibition, hypoxia, or β-adrenergic receptor agonist. These studies demonstrate the potential benefit of XIAP to correct heart failure after highly efficient delivery to the heart with the rationally designed SASTG AAV vector.
Piacentino and colleagues describe a novel, rationally designed adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 3b vector called SASTG. They demonstrate that this vector achieves highly efficient transduction in mouse heart and in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Moreover, they show that SASTG mediates overexpression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) and ameliorates apoptosis induced in cardiomyocytes by stresses associated with heart failure.
PMCID: PMC3392616  PMID: 22339372
17.  Hypercholesterolemic Myocardium Is Vulnerable to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury and Refractory to Sevoflurane-Induced Protection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76652.
Recent studies have demonstrated that volatile anesthetic postconditioning confers myocardial protection against ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury through activation of the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway. As RISK has been shown to be impaired in hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, we investigate whether anesthetic-induced cardiac protection was maintained in hypercholesterolemic rats. In the present study, normocholesteolemic or hypercholesterolemic rat hearts were subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. Animals received 2.4% sevoflurane for 5 min or 3 cycles of 10-s ischemia/10-s reperfusion. The hemodynamic parameters, including left ventricular developed pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and heart rate, were continuously monitored. The infarct size, apoptosis, p-Akt, p-ERK1/2, p-GSK3β were determined. We found that both sevoflurane and ischemic postconditioning significantly improved heart pump function, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2 and their downstream target of GSK3β in the healthy rats. In the hypercholesterolemic rats, neither sevoflurane nor ischemic postconditioning improved left ventricular hemodynamics, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylated Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3β. In contrast, GSK inhibitor SB216763 conferred cardioprotection against IR injury in healthy and hypercholesterolemic hearts. In conclusions, hyperchoesterolemia abrogated sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection against IR injury by alteration of upstream signaling of GSK3β and acute GSK inhibition may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to protect hypercholesterolemic hearts against IR injury.
PMCID: PMC3790738  PMID: 24124583
18.  Over-expression of a modified bifunctional apoptosis regulator protects against cardiac injury and doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in transgenic mice 
Cardiovascular Research  2008;81(1):20-27.
Bifunctional apoptosis regulator (BAR) is an endoplasmic reticulum protein that interacts with both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways. We hypothesize that over-expression of BARΔRING prevents apoptosis and injury following ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) and attenuates doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cardiotoxicity.
Methods and results
We generated a line of transgenic mice that carried a human BARΔRING transgene under the control of the mouse α-myosin heavy chain promoter. The RING domain, which binds ubiquitin conjugating enzymes, was deleted to prevent auto-ubiquitination of BAR and allow accumulation of the BAR protein, which binds apoptosis-regulating proteins. High levels of human BARΔRING transcripts and 42 KDa BARΔRING protein were expressed in the hearts of transgenic mice. When excised hearts were reperfused ex vivo for 45 min as Langendorff preparations after 45 min of global ischaemia, the functional recovery of the hearts, expressed as left ventricular developed pressure × heart rate, was 23 ± 1.7% in the non-transgenic hearts compared with 51.5 ± 4.3% in the transgenic hearts (P < 0.05). For in vivo studies, mice were subjected to 50 min of ligation of the left descending anterior coronary artery followed by 4 h of reperfusion. The infarct sizes following I/R injury, expressed as the percentage of the area at risk, were significantly smaller in the transgenic mice than in the non-transgenic mice (29 ± 4 vs. 55 ± 4%, P < 0.05). In hearts of mice subjected to cardiac I/R injury, BAR transgenic hearts had significantly fewer in situ oligo-ligation-positive cardiac cells (5.0 ± 0.4 vs. 13.4 ± 0.5%, P < 0.05). Over-expression of BARΔRING also significantly attenuated DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction and apoptosis.
Our results demonstrate that over-expression of BARΔRING renders the heart more resistant to I/R injury and DOX-induced cardiotoxicity, and this protection correlates with reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC2639090  PMID: 18805781
Transgenic mice; BAR; Cardiac apoptosis; Ischaemia/reperfusion injury; Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity
19.  p27Kip1, a double-edged sword in Shh-mediated medulloblastoma 
Cell Cycle  2010;9(21):4307-4314.
Medulloblastoma, a brain tumor arising in the cerebellum, is the most common solid childhood malignancy. The current standard of care for medulloblastoma leaves survivors with life-long side effects. Gaining insight into mechanisms regulating transformation of medulloblastoma cells-of-origin may lead to development of better treatments for these tumors. Cerebellar granule neuron precursors (CGNPs) are proposed cells of origin for certain classes of medulloblastoma, specifically those marked by aberrant Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway activation. CGNPs require signaling by Shh for proliferation during brain development. In mitogen-stimulated cells, nuclear localized cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a checkpoint control at the G1- to S-phase transition by inhibiting Cdk2. Recent studies have suggested that cytoplasmically localized p27Kip1 acquires oncogenic functions. Here, we show that p27Kip1 is cytoplasmically localized in CGNPs and mouse Shh-mediated medulloblastomas. Transgenic mice bearing an activating mutation in the Shh pathway and lacking one or both p27Kip1 alleles have accelerated tumor incidence compared to mice bearing both p27Kip1 alleles. Interestingly, mice heterozygous for p27Kip1 have decreased survival latency compared to p27Kip1-null animals. Our data indicate that this may reflect the requiremen of at least one copy of p27Kip1 for recruiting cyclin D/Cdk4/6 to promote cell cycle progression, yet insufficient expression in the heterozygous or null state to inhibit cyclin E/Cdk2. Finally, we find that mislocalized p27Kip1 may play a positive role in motility in medulloblastoma cells. Together, our data indicate that the dosage of p27Kip1 plays a role in cell cycle progression and tumor suppression in Shh-mediated medulloblastoma expansion.
PMCID: PMC3055184  PMID: 21051932
p27; Kip1; medulloblastoma; cerebellum; cell cycle; Sonic hedgehog; tumor; motility; RhoA
20.  Phosphorylation and Subcellular Localization of p27Kip1 Regulated by Hydrogen Peroxide Modulation in Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44502.
The Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27Kip1) is a key protein in the decision between proliferation and cell cycle exit. Quiescent cells show nuclear p27Kip1, but this protein is exported to the cytoplasm in response to proliferating signals. We recently reported that catalase treatment increases the levels of p27Kip1 in vitro and in vivo in a murine model. In order to characterize and broaden these findings, we evaluated the regulation of p27Kip1 by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human melanoma cells and melanocytes. We observed a high percentage of p27Kip1 positive nuclei in melanoma cells overexpressing or treated with exogenous catalase, while non-treated controls showed a cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Then we studied the levels of p27Kip1 phosphorylated (p27p) at serine 10 (S10) and at threonine 198 (T198) because phosphorylation at these sites enables nuclear exportation of this protein, leading to accumulation and stabilization of p27pT198 in the cytoplasm. We demonstrated by western blot a decrease in p27pS10 and p27pT198 levels in response to H2O2 removal in melanoma cells, associated with nuclear p27Kip1. Melanocytes also exhibited nuclear p27Kip1 and lower levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 than melanoma cells, which showed cytoplasmic p27Kip1. We also showed that the addition of H2O2 (0.1 µM) to melanoma cells arrested in G1 by serum starvation induces proliferation and increases the levels of p27pS10 and p27pT198 leading to cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1. Nuclear localization and post-translational modifications of p27Kip1 were also demonstrated by catalase treatment of colorectal carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells, extending our findings to these other human cancer types. In conclusion, we showed in the present work that H2O2 scavenging prevents nuclear exportation of p27Kip1, allowing cell cycle arrest, suggesting that cancer cells take advantage of their intrinsic pro-oxidant state to favor cytoplasmic localization of p27Kip1.
PMCID: PMC3435274  PMID: 22970236
21.  The Na+/Ca2+ exchange inhibitor SEA0400 limits intracellular Ca2+ accumulation and improves recovery of ventricular function when added to cardioplegia 
The Na+/Ca2+ exchange inhibitor SEA0400 prevents myocardial injury in models of global ischemia and reperfusion. We therefore evaluated its potential as a cardioplegia additive.
Isolated rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxia (45 min) followed by reperfusion. During hypoxia, cells were protected using cardioplegia with (n = 25) or without (n = 24) SEA0400 (1 μM), or were not protected with cardioplegia (hypoxic control, n = 8). Intracellular Ca2+ levels were measured using Ca2+ sensitive dye (fura-2 AM). Isolated rat hearts were arrested using cardioplegia with (n = 7) or without (n = 6) SEA0400 (1 μM) then reperfused after 45 min of ischemia. Left ventricular (LV) function, troponin release, and mitochondrial morphology were evaluated.
Cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia without cardioplegia had poor survival (13%). Survival was significantly improved when cells were protected with cardioplegia containing SEA0400 (68%, p = 0.009); cardioplegia without SEA0400 was associated with intermediate survival (42%). Cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia alone had a rapid increase in intracellular Ca2+ (305 ± 123 nM after 20 minutes of ischemia). Increases in intracellular Ca2+ were reduced in cells arrested with cardioplegia without SEA0400; however cardioplegia containing SEA0400 was associated with the lowest intracellular Ca2+ levels (110 ± 17 vs. 156 ± 42 nM after 45 minutes of ischemia, p = 0.004). Hearts arrested with cardioplegia containing SEA0400 had better recovery of LV work compared to cardioplegia without SEA0400 (23140 ± 2264 vs. 7750 ± 929 mmHg.μl, p = 0.0001). Troponin release during reperfusion was lower (0.6 ± 0.2 vs. 2.4 ± 0.5 ng/mL, p = 0.0026), and there were more intact (41 ± 3 vs. 22 ± 5%, p < 0.005), and fewer disrupted mitochondria (24 ± 2 vs. 33 ± 3%, p < 0.05) in the SEA0400 group.
SEA0400 added to cardioplegia limits accumulation of intracellular Ca2+ during ischemic arrest in isolated cardiomyocytes and prevents myocardial injury and improves recovery of LV function in isolated hearts.
PMCID: PMC3914709  PMID: 24401610
Myocardial protection/cardioplegia; Myocardium; Ischemia; Ischemia/reperfusion injury; Cardiac function
22.  Nerve Growth Factor Protects the Ischemic Heart via Attenuation of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induced Apoptosis by Activation of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase 
Background: Increased expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) has been found in the myocardium suffered from ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). The pro-survival activity of NGF on ischemic heart has been supposed to be mediated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signaling pathway. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is activated initially as a defensive response to eliminate the accumulated unfolded proteins, has shown a critical involvement in the ischemia induced myocardial apoptosis. This study was aimed to investigate whether NGF induced heart protection against I/R injury includes a mechanism of attenuation of ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis by activation of PI3K/Akt pathway.
Methods: Isolated adult rat hearts were perfused with a Langendörff perfusion system. Hearts in the Sham group were subjected to 225 min of continuous Krebs-Henseleit buffer (KHB) perfusion without ischemia. Hearts in I/R group were perfused with KHB for a 75-min of equilibration period followed by 30 min of global ischemia and 120 min of KHB reperfusion. Hearts in the NGF group accepted 45 min of euilibration perfusion and 30 min of NGF pretreatment (with a final concentration of 100 ng/ml in the KHB) before 30 min of global ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion. Hearts in K252a and LY294002 groups were pretreated with either a TrkA inhibitor, K252a or a phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002 for 30 min before NGF (100 ng/ml) administration. Cardiac hemodynamics were measured from the beginning of the perfusion. Cardiac enzymes and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) were assayed before ischemia and at the end of reperfusion. Myocardial apoptosis rate was measured by TUNEL staining, and expression of glucose-related protein 78 (GRP78), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), caspase-12, total- and phospho-(Ser473)-Akt were assessed by Western blot analyses.
Results: NGF pretreatment significantly improved the recovery of post-ischemia cardiac hemodynamics. Reduced creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and cTnI levels, as well as decreased myocardial apoptosis ratio were observed in the NGF group. The improvement of NGF on recovery of cardiac function and alleviation of myocardial injury were completely abolished by K252a or LY294002. GRP78, caspase-12 and CHOP were highly expressed in ischemic myocardium, while NGF significantly inhibited the overexpression of these proteins which were involved in ER stress-induced myocardial apoptosis. NGF pretreatment also induced phosphorylation of Akt. When the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway is blocked by LY294002, the NGF induced suppression of the apoptosis-related proteins expression was reversed.
Conclusions: NGF pretreatment may protect the ischemic heart via inhibition of the ER stress-induced apoptosis; this pro-survival effect is mediated by PI3K/Akt pathway.
PMCID: PMC4278880  PMID: 25552923
ischemia/reperfusion injury; nerve growth factor; endoplasmic reticulum; apoptosis.
23.  Distinct Developmental Roles of Cell Cycle Inhibitors p57Kip2 and p27Kip1 Distinguish Pituitary Progenitor Cell Cycle Exit from Cell Cycle Reentry of Differentiated Cells▿ † 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;29(7):1895-1908.
Patterning and differentiation signals are often believed to drive the developmental program, including cell cycle exit of proliferating progenitors. Taking advantage of the spatial and temporal separation of proliferating and differentiated cells within the developing anterior pituitary gland, we investigated the control of cell proliferation during organogenesis. Thus, we identified a population of noncycling precursors that are uniquely marked by expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p57Kip2 and by cyclin E. In p57Kip2−/− mice, the developing pituitary is hyperplastic due to accumulation of proliferating progenitors, whereas overexpression of p57Kip2 leads to hypoplasia. p57Kip2-dependent cell cycle exit is not required for differentiation, and conversely, blockade of cell differentiation, as achieved in Tpit−/− pituitaries, does not prevent cell cycle exit but rather leads to accumulation of p57Kip2-positive precursors. Upon differentiation, p57Kip2 is replaced by p27Kip1. Accordingly, proliferating differentiated cells are readily detected in p27Kip1−/− pituitaries but not in wild-type or p57Kip2−/− pituitaries. Strikingly, all cells of p57Kip2−/−;p27Kip1−/− pituitaries are proliferative. Thus, during normal development, progenitor cell cycle exit is controlled by p57Kip2 followed by p27Kip1 in differentiated cells; these sequential actions, taken together with different pituitary outcomes of their loss of function, suggest hierarchical controls of the cell cycle that are independent of differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2655618  PMID: 19139274
24.  CDK inhibitor p57Kip2 is downregulated by Akt during HER2-mediated tumorigenicity 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(6):935-943.
HER2/neu oncogene is frequently deregulated in cancers, and the (PI3K)-Akt signaling is one of the major pathways in mediating HER2/neu oncogenic signal. p57Kip2, an inhibitor of cyclin-depependent kinases, is pivotal in regulating cell cycle progression, but its upstream regulators remain unclear. Here we show that the HER2-Akt axis is linked to p57Kip2 regulation, and that Akt is a negative regulator of p57Kip2. Ectopic expression of Akt can decrease the expression of p57Kip2, while Akt inhibition leads to p57Kip2 stabilization. Mechanistic studies show that Akt interacts with p57Kip2 and causes cytoplasmic localization of p57Kip2. Akt phosphorylates p57 on Ser 282 or Thr310. Akt activity results in destabilization of p57 by accelerating turnover rate of p57 and enhancing p57 ubiquitination. Importantly, the negative impact of HER2/Akt on p57 stability contributes to HER2-mediated cell proliferation, transformational activity and tumorigenicity. p57 restoration can attenuate these defects caused by HER2. Significantly, Kaplan-Meier analysis of tumor samples demonstrate that in tumors where HER2 expression was observed, high expression levels of p57Kip2 were associated with better overall survival. These data suggest that HER2/Akt is an important negative regulator of p57Kip2, and that p57 restoration in HER2-overexpressing cells can reduce breast tumor growth. Our findings indicate the applicability of employing p57 regulation as a therapeutic intervention in HER2-overexpressing cancers.
PMCID: PMC3637352  PMID: 23421998
Akt; cell cycle; HER2; p57 Kip2; phosphorylation; subcellular localizaiton
25.  Dynasore Protects Mitochondria and Improves Cardiac Lusitropy in Langendorff Perfused Mouse Heart 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60967.
Heart failure due to diastolic dysfunction exacts a major economic, morbidity and mortality burden in the United States. Therapeutic agents to improve diastolic dysfunction are limited. It was recently found that Dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1) mediates mitochondrial fission during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, whereas inhibition of Drp1 decreases myocardial infarct size. We hypothesized that Dynasore, a small noncompetitive dynamin GTPase inhibitor, could have beneficial effects on cardiac physiology during I/R injury.
Methods and Results
In Langendorff perfused mouse hearts subjected to I/R (30 minutes of global ischemia followed by 1 hour of reperfusion), pretreatment with 1 µM Dynasore prevented I/R induced elevation of left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP), indicating a significant and specific lusitropic effect. Dynasore also decreased cardiac troponin I efflux during reperfusion and reduced infarct size. In cultured adult mouse cardiomyocytes subjected to oxidative stress, Dynasore increased cardiomyocyte survival and viability identified by trypan blue exclusion assay and reduced cellular Adenosine triphosphate(ATP) depletion. Moreover, in cultured cells, Dynasore pretreatment protected mitochondrial fragmentation induced by oxidative stress.
Dynasore protects cardiac lusitropy and limits cell damage through a mechanism that maintains mitochondrial morphology and intracellular ATP in stressed cells. Mitochondrial protection through an agent such as Dynasore can have clinical benefit by positively influencing the energetics of diastolic dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3626591  PMID: 23596510

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