Background and Aims
Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) would facilitate development of targeted and effective therapies for this fatal disease. We recently demonstrated that the cellular transcription factor Late SV40 Factor (LSF) is overexpressed in more than 90% of human HCC cases, compared to normal liver, and plays a seminal role in hepatocarcinogenesis. LSF transcriptionally upregulates osteopontin (OPN) that plays a significant role in mediating the oncogenic function of LSF. The present study aims at a better understanding of LSF function by analyzing the signaling pathway modulated by LSF.
Phospho-receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) array was performed to identify which receptor tyrosine kinases are activated by LSF. Immunohistochemical analysis using tissue microarray was performed to establish correlation among LSF, OPN and phospho-c-Met levels in HCC patients. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis was performed to check OPN-induced CD44 and c-Met interaction. Inhibition studies using chemicals and siRNAs were performed in vitro and in vivo using nude mice xenograft models to establish the importance of c-Met activation in mediating LSF function.
Secreted OPN, induced by LSF, activates c-Met via a potential interaction between OPN and its cell surface receptor CD44. A significant correlation was observed among LSF, OPN and activated c-Met levels in HCC patients. Chemical or genetic inhibition of c-Met resulted in profound abrogation of LSF-mediated tumorigenesis and metastasis in nude mice xenograft studies.
The present findings elucidate a novel pathway of c-Met activation during hepatocarcinogenesis and support the rationale of using c-Met inhibitors as potential HCC therapeutics.
Late SV40 Factor; CD44; Hepatocellular carcinoma; c-Met; osteopontin
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a dreadful cancer and a major cause of death among patients with chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The apparent alterations in a diversity of intracellular pathways found in HCC has set the rational for developing molecular-directed drugs that simultaneously inhibit multiple pathways, such as the multi-kinase inhibitor Sorafenib. However, recently this concept has been challenged by showing that HCC is heavily dependent on a single oncogene designated late SV-40 factor (LSF), a transcription factor that is over-expressed in liver cancer cells and that its expression is strongly correlated with tumor grade and aggressiveness. Furthermore, using an intensive screening for drugs that inhibit LSF activity, Grant et al have found a molecule designated factor quinolinone inhibitor 1 that can specifically block the ability of LSF to bind its target promoters, resulting in a massive death of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. The innovative findings of HCC representing “oncogene addiction” to LSF and the ability of a single molecule to block the activity of this oncogene resulting in tumor abolishment are encouraging and provide us with the hope that the “Achilles heel” of HCC has been found.
Oncogene addiction; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Late SV40 factor; Transcription factor; Multi-kinase inhibit
AIM: To investigate the relationship between late SV40 factor (LSF) and Notch signaling in the development and progress of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Liver cancer tissue specimens from 25 patients were analyzed for Notch-1 and LSF expression by immunohistochemistry. The correlation between expression and the biological effects of Notch-1 and LSF were analyzed using genetic and pharmacological strategies in HCC cell lines and human normal cell lines, including hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and human embryonic kidney epithelial cells (HEK).
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry showed that both Notch-1 and LSF were significantly upregulated in HCC samples (76%, 19/25, P < 0.0001 and 84%, 21/25, P < 0.0001, respectively) compared with non-cancer samples. Activation of Notch-1 by exogenous transfection of Notch1 intracellular domain increased LSF expression in HSC and HEK cells to levels similar to those seen in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, blocking Notch-1 activation with a γ-secretase inhibitor, DAPT, downregulated LSF expression in HepG2 cells. Additionally, a biological behavior assay showed that forced overexpression of LSF promoted HepG2 cell proliferation and invasion.
CONCLUSION: LSF is a key mediator of the Notch signaling pathway, suggesting that it might be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of HCC.
Notch receptor; Late SV40 factor; Signal transduction; Hepatocellular carcinoma
The transcription factors of the LSF/Grainyhead (GRH) family are characterized by the possession of a distinctive DNA-binding domain that bears no clear relationship to other known DNA-binding domains, with the possible exception of the p53 core domain. In triploblastic animals, the LSF and GRH subfamilies have diverged extensively with respect to their biological roles, general expression patterns, and mechanism of DNA binding. For example, Grainyhead (GRH) homologs are expressed primarily in the epidermis, and they appear to play an ancient role in maintaining the epidermal barrier. By contrast, LSF homologs are more widely expressed, and they regulate general cellular functions such as cell cycle progression and survival in addition to cell-lineage specific gene expression.
To illuminate the early evolution of this family and reconstruct the functional divergence of LSF and GRH, we compared homologs from 18 phylogenetically diverse taxa, including four basal animals (Nematostella vectensis, Vallicula multiformis, Trichoplax adhaerens, and Amphimedon queenslandica), a choanoflagellate (Monosiga brevicollis) and several fungi. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses of these sequences indicate that (1) the LSF/GRH gene family originated prior to the animal-fungal divergence, and (2) the functional diversification of the LSF and GRH subfamilies occurred prior to the divergence between sponges and eumetazoans. Aspects of the domain architecture of LSF/GRH proteins are well conserved between fungi, choanoflagellates, and metazoans, though within the Metazoa, the LSF and GRH families are clearly distinct. We failed to identify a convincing LSF/GRH homolog in the sequenced genomes of the algae Volvox carteri and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii or the amoebozoan Dictyostelium purpureum. Interestingly, the ancestral GRH locus has become split into two separate loci in the sea anemone Nematostella, with one locus encoding a DNA binding domain and the other locus encoding the dimerization domain.
In metazoans, LSF and GRH proteins play a number of roles that are essential to achieving and maintaining multicellularity. It is now clear that this protein family already existed in the unicellular ancestor of animals, choanoflagellates, and fungi. However, the diversification of distinct LSF and GRH subfamilies appears to be a metazoan invention. Given the conserved role of GRH in maintaining epithelial integrity in vertebrates, insects, and nematodes, it is noteworthy that the evolutionary origin of Grh appears roughly coincident with the evolutionary origin of the epithelium.
Transcription factor LSF is required for progression from quiescence through the cell cycle, regulating thymidylate synthase (Tyms) expression at the G1/S boundary. Given the constant level of LSF protein from G0 through S, we investigated whether LSF is regulated by phosphorylation in G1. In vitro, LSF is phosphorylated by cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), cyclin C/CDK2, and cyclin C/CDK3, predominantly on S309. Phosphorylation of LSF on S309 is maximal 1 to 2 h after mitogenic stimulation of quiescent mouse fibroblasts. This phosphorylation is mediated by cyclin C-dependent kinases, as shown by coimmunoprecipitation of LSF and cyclin C in early G1 and by abrogation of LSF S309 phosphorylation upon suppression of cyclin C with short interfering RNA. Although mouse fibroblasts lack functional CDK3 (the partner of cyclin C in early G1 in human cells), CDK2 compensates for this absence. By transient transfection assays, phosphorylation at S309, mediated by cyclin C overexpression, inhibits LSF transactivation. Moreover, overexpression of cyclin C and CDK3 inhibits induction of endogenous Tyms expression at the G1/S transition. These results identify LSF as only the second known target (in addition to pRb) of cyclin C/CDK activity during progression from quiescence to early G1. Unexpectedly, this phosphorylation prevents induction of LSF target genes until late G1.
LSF is a mammalian transcription factor that is rapidly and quantitatively phosphorylated upon growth induction of resting, peripheral human T cells, as assayed by a reduction in its electrophoretic mobility. The DNA-binding activity of LSF in primary T cells is greatly increased after this phosphorylation event [Volker et al., 1997]. We demonstrate here that LSF is also rapidly and quantitatively phosphorylated upon growth induction in NIH 3T3 cells, although its DNA-binding activity is not significantly altered. Three lines of experimentation established that ERK is responsible for phosphorylating LSF upon growth induction in both cell types. First, phosphorylation of LSF by ERK is sufficient to cause the reduced electrophoretic mobility of LSF. Second, the amount of ERK activity correlates with the extent of LSF phosphorylation in both primary human T cells and NIH 3T3 cells. Finally, specific inhibitors of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway inhibit LSF modification in vivo. This phosphorylation by ERK is not sufficient for activation of LSF DNA-binding activity, as evidenced both in vitro and in mouse fibroblasts. Nonetheless, activation of ERK is a prerequisite for the substantial increase in LSF DNA-binding activity upon activation of resting T cells, indicating that ERK phosphorylation is necessary but not sufficient for activation of LSF in this cell type.
ERK; LSF; T cells; fibroblasts; DNA-binding; phosphorylation
The LSF/Grainyhead transcription factor family is involved in many important biological processes, including cell cycle, cell growth and development. In order to investigate the evolutionary conservation of these biological roles, we have characterized two new family members in Caenorhabditis elegans and Xenopus laevis. The C.elegans member, Ce-GRH-1, groups with the Grainyhead subfamily, while the X.laevis member, Xl-LSF, groups with the LSF subfamily. Ce-GRH-1 binds DNA in a sequence-specific manner identical to that of Drosophila melanogaster Grainyhead. In addition, Ce-GRH-1 binds to sequences upstream of the C.elegans gene encoding aromatic l-amino-acid decarboxylase and genes involved in post-embryonic development, mab-5 and dbl-1. All three C.elegans genes are homologs of D.melanogaster Grainyhead-regulated genes. RNA-mediated interference of Ce-grh-1 results in embryonic lethality in worms, accompanied by soft, defective cuticles. These phenotypes are strikingly similar to those observed previously in D.melanogaster grainyhead mutants, suggesting conservation of the developmental role of these family members over the course of evolution. Our phylogenetic analysis of the expanded LSF/GRH family (including other previously unrecognized proteins/ESTs) suggests that the structural and functional dichotomy of this family dates back more than 700 million years, i.e. to the time when the first multicellular organisms are thought to have arisen.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) establishes a persistent, nonproductive state within a small population of memory CD4+ cells. The transcription factor LSF binds to sequences within the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) initiation region and recruits a second factor, YY1, to the LTR. These factors then cooperatively recruit histone deacetylase 1 to the LTR, resulting in inhibition of transcription. This appears to be one mechanism contributing to HIV persistence within resting CD4+ T cells. We sought to further detail LSF binding to the HIV-1 LTR and factors that regulate LSF occupancy. We find that LSF binds the LTR as a tetramer and that binding is regulated by phosphorylation mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). In vitro, phosphorylation of LSF by Erk decreases binding to the LTR, while binding is increased by p38 phosphorylation. LSF occupancy at LTR chromatin is increased by the p38 agonist anisomycin and decreased by specific p38 inhibition. p38 inhibition also results in increased acetylation of histone H4 at the LTR nucleosome adjacent to the LSF binding site. p38 inhibition also blocked the ability of YY1 to inhibit activation of the integrated HIV promoter. Finally, HIV was recovered from the resting CD4+ T cells of aviremic, HIV-infected donors upon treatment of these cells with specific inhibitor of p38. These data suggest that the MAPK pathway regulates LSF binding to the LTR and thereby one aspect of the regulation of HIV expression. This mechanism could be exploited as a novel therapeutic target to disrupt latent HIV infection.
The transcription factor LSF, identified as a HeLa protein that binds the simian virus 40 late promoter, recognizes direct repeats with a center-to-center spacing of 10 bp. The characterization of two human cDNAs, representing alternatively spliced mRNAs, provides insight into the unusual DNA-binding and oligomerization properties of LSF. The sequence of the full-length LSF is identical to that of the transcription factors alpha CP2 and LBP-1c and has similarity to the Drosophila transcription factor Elf-1/NTF-1. Using an epitope-counting method, we show that LSF binds DNA as a homodimer. LSF-ID, which is identical to LBP-1d, contains an in-frame internal deletion of 51 amino acids resulting from alternative mRNA splicing. Unlike LSF, LSF-ID did not bind LSF DNA-binding sites. Furthermore, LSF-ID did not affect the binding of LSF to DNA, suggesting that the two proteins do not interact. Of three short regions with a high degree of homology between LSF and Elf-1/NTF-1, LSF-ID lacks two, which are predicted to form beta-strands. Double amino acid substitutions in each of these regions eliminated specific DNA-binding activity, similarly to the LSF-ID deletion. The dimerization potential of these mutants was measured both by the ability to inhibit the binding of LSF to DNA and by direct protein-protein interaction studies. Mutations in one homology region, but not the other, functionally eliminated dimerization.
Objectives: Several studies suggested chromosome 12 harbours an Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk factor gene. Significant association of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 3' UTR of transcription factor CP2 (LBP-1c/CP2/LSF or TFCP2) at 12q13 was reported in three independent case-control studies, but no family based analyses have been performed to date.
Methods: Genotypes for three SNPs were generated in two independent AD family samples. A meta-analysis on all published case-control studies was also performed.
Results: The A allele of the 3' UTR SNP was associated with increased risk for AD in one sample (odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1 to 4.3), but not in the other, possibly due to low power. Haplotype analyses showed that this allele is part of a putative risk-haplotype overtransmitted to affected individuals in one sample and in both samples combined. Meta-analysis of the previously associated 3' UTR SNP showed a trend towards a protective effect of the A allele in AD (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.1).
Conclusions: This is the first study to examine LBP-1c/CP2/LSF in AD families, and the fifth to independently show significant association. While our results support a role of this gene in AD pathogenesis, the direction of the effect remains uncertain, possibly indicating linkage disequilibrium with another variant nearby.
Cell cycle progression in mammalian cells from G1 into S phase requires sensing and integration of multiple inputs, in order to determine whether to continue to cellular DNA replication and subsequently, to cell division. Passage to S requires transition through the restriction point, which at a molecular level consists of a bistable switch involving E2Fs and pRb family members. At the G1/S boundary, a number of genes essential for DNA replication and cell cycle progression are upregulated, promoting entry into S phase. Although the activating E2Fs are the most extensively characterized transcription factors driving G1/S expression, LSF is also a transcription factor essential for stimulating G1/S gene expression. A critical LSF target gene at this stage, Tyms, encodes thymidylate synthetase. In investigating how LSF is activated in a cell cycle-dependent manner, we recently identified a novel time delay mechanism for regulating its activity during G1 progression, which is apparently independent of the E2F/pRb axis. This involves inhibition of LSF in early G1 by two major proliferative signaling pathways: ERK and cyclin C/CDK, followed by gradual dephosphorylation during mid- to late-G1. Whether LSF and E2F act independently or in concert to promote G1/S progression remains to be determined.
LSF; cyclin C/CDK; ERK; thymidylate synthetase; E2F; pRb; p53; G1 phase; S phase; restriction point
Enigmatic mechanisms restore the resting state in activated lymphocytes following human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, rarely allowing persistent nonproductive infection. We detail a mechanism whereby cellular factors could establish virological latency. The transcription factors YY1 and LSF cooperate in repression of transcription from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR). LSF recruits YY1 to the LTR via the zinc fingers of YY1. The first two zinc fingers were observed to be sufficient for this interaction in vitro. A mutant of LSF incapable of binding DNA blocked repression. Like other transcriptional repressors, YY1 can function via recruitment of histone deacetylase (HDAC). We find that HDAC1 copurifies with the LTR-binding YY1-LSF repressor complex, the domain of YY1 that interacts with HDAC1 is required to repress the HIV-1 promoter, expression of HDAC1 augments repression of the LTR by YY1, and the deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A blocks repression mediated by YY1. This novel link between HDAC recruitment and inhibition of HIV-1 expression by YY1 and LSF, in the natural context of a viral promoter integrated into chromosomal DNA, is the first demonstration of a molecular mechanism of repression of HIV-1. YY1 and LSF may establish transcriptional and virological latency of HIV, a state that has recently been recognized in vivo and has significant implications for the long-term treatment of AIDS.
Enhancement of neutralization of Sindbis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis viruses by labile serum factor (LSF) in human serum and plasma was demonstrated. Human serum and plasma could be diluted 1:8 and 1:16 and still retain some LSF activity. Satisfactory storage temperatures for retention of LSF activity were −20 or −56 C. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles of serum did not alter LSF activity, but the activity was completely eliminated by heating at 56 C for 5 min. LSF of human serum equally enhanced neutralization by Sindbis immune mouse and rabbit sera; these results suggest a lack of species specificity. Rehydrated lyophilized gunea pig complement did not restore LSF activity to heated human plasma. Serum components responsible for LSF activity were not dialyzable. Discovery of fresh serum without LSF activity established the need to pretest all sera used as LSF sources.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly aggressive vascular cancer characterized by diverse etiology, activation of multiple signal transduction pathways, and various gene mutations. Here, we have determined a specific role for astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG1) in HCC pathogenesis. Expression of AEG1 was extremely low in human hepatocytes, but its levels were significantly increased in human HCC. Stable overexpression of AEG1 converted nontumorigenic human HCC cells into highly aggressive vascular tumors, and inhibition of AEG1 abrogated tumorigenesis by aggressive HCC cells in a xenograft model of nude mice. In human HCC, AEG1 overexpression was associated with elevated copy numbers. Microarray analysis revealed that AEG1 modulated the expression of genes associated with invasion, metastasis, chemoresistance, angiogenesis, and senescence. AEG1 also was found to activate Wnt/β-catenin signaling via ERK42/44 activation and upregulated lymphoid-enhancing factor 1/T cell factor 1 (LEF1/TCF1), the ultimate executor of the Wnt pathway, important for HCC progression. Inhibition studies further demonstrated that activation of Wnt signaling played a key role in mediating AEG1 function. AEG1 also activated the NF-κB pathway, which may play a role in the chronic inflammatory changes preceding HCC development. These data indicate that AEG1 plays a central role in regulating diverse aspects of HCC pathogenesis. Targeted inhibition of AEG1 might lead to the shutdown of key elemental characteristics of HCC and could lead to an effective therapeutic strategy for HCC.
A subpopulation of stably infected CD4+ cells capable of producing virus upon stimulation has been identified in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals (T.-W. Chun, D. Finzi, J. Margolick, K. Chadwick, D. Schwartz, and R. F. Siliciano, Nat. Med. 1:1284-1290, 1995). Few host factors that directly limit HIV-1 transcription and could support this state of nonproductive HIV-1 infection have been described. YY1, a widely distributed human transcription factor, is known to inhibit HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) transcription and virus production. LSF (also known as LBP-1, UBP, and CP-2) has been shown to repress LTR transcription in vitro, but transient expression of LSF has no effect on LTR activity in vivo. We report that both YY1 and LSF participate in the formation of a complex that recognizes the initiation region of the HIV-1 LTR. Further, we have found that these factors cooperate in the repression of LTR expression and viral replication. This cooperative function may account for the divergent effects of LSF previously observed in vitro and in vivo. Thus, the cooperation of two general cellular transcription factors may allow for the selective downregulation of HIV transcription. Through this mechanism of gene regulation, YY1 and LSF could contribute to the establishment and maintenance of a population of cells stably but nonproductively infected with HIV-1.
Transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells is driven by a complex interplay of multiple transcription factors that respond to signals from either external or internal stimuli. A single transcription factor can control expression of distinct sets of target genes, dependent on its state of post-translational modifications, interacting partner proteins, and the chromatin environment of the cellular genome. Furthermore, many transcription factors can act as either transcriptional repressors or activators, depending on promoter and cellular contexts (Alvarez, et al., 2003). Even in this light, the versatility of LSF (Late SV40 Factor) is remarkable. A hallmark of LSF is its unusual DNA binding domain, as evidenced both by lack of homology to any other established DNA-binding domains and by its DNA recognition sequence. Although a dimer in solution, LSF requires additional multimerization with itself or partner proteins in order to interact with DNA. Transcriptionally, LSF can function as an activator or a repressor. It is a direct target of an increasing number of signal transduction pathways. Biologically, LSF plays roles in cell cycle progression and cell survival, as well as in cell lineage-specific functions, shown most strikingly to date in hematopoietic lineages.
This review discusses how the unique aspects of LSF DNA-binding activity may make it particularly susceptible to regulation by signal transduction pathways and may relate to its distinct biological roles. We present current progress in elucidation of both tissue-specific and more universal cellular roles of LSF. Finally, we discuss suggestive data linking LSF to signaling by the amyloid precursor protein and to Alzheimer's disease, as well as to the regulation of latency of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
GRH; DNA-binding; signal transduction; cell cycle progression; immune response; APP; HIV
Repression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transcription may contribute to the establishment or maintenance of proviral quiescence in infected CD4+ cells. The host factors YY1 and LSF cooperatively recruit histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) and inhibit transcription. We demonstrate here regulation of occupancy of HDAC1 at a positioned nucleosome (nuc 1) near the transcription start site of integrated LTR. We find that expression of YY1 increases occupancy by HDAC1, decreases acetylation at nuc 1, and downregulates LTR expression. HDAC1 recruitment and histone hypoacetylation were also seen when Tat activation was inhibited by the overexpression of YY1. A YY1 mutant without an HDAC1 interaction domain and incompetent to inhibit LTR activation fails to recruit HDAC1 to LTR or decrease nuc 1 acetylation. Further, expression of a dominant-negative mutant of LSF (dnLSF), which inhibits LSF occupancy and LTR repression, results in acetylation and decreased HDAC1 occupancy at nuc 1. Conversely, exposure of cells to the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A or activation of LTR expression by HIV-1 Tat results in the displacement of HDAC1 from nuc 1, in association with increased acetylation of histone H4. Recruitment of HDAC1 to the LTR nuc 1 can counteract Tat activation and repress LTR expression. Significantly, when repression is overcome, LTR activation is associated with decreased HDAC1 occupancy. Since the persistence of integrated HIV-1 genomes despite potent suppression of viral replication is a major obstacle for current antiretroviral therapy, strategies to selectively disrupt the quiescence of chromosomal provirus may play a role in the future treatment of AIDS.
We have studied the initiation of transcription in vitro by RNA polymerase II on simian virus 40 (SV40) minichromosomal templates isolated from infected cells. The efficiency and pattern of transcription from the chromatin templates were compared with those from viral DNA templates by using two in vitro transcription systems, either HeLa whole-cell extract or basal transcription factors, RNA polymerase II, and one of two SV40 promoter-binding transcription factors, LSF and Sp1. Dramatic increases in numbers of transcripts upon addition of transcription extract and different patterns of usage of the multiple SV40 initiation sites upon addition of Sp1 versus LSF strongly suggested that transcripts were being initiated from the minichromosomal templates in vitro. That the majority of transcripts from the minichromosomes were due to initiation de novo was demonstrated by the efficient transcription observed in the presence of alpha-amanitin, which inhibited minichromosome-associated RNA polymerase II, and an alpha-amanitin-resistant RNA polymerase II, which initiated transcription in vitro. The pattern of transcription from the SV40 late and early promoters on the minichromosomal templates was similar to the in vivo pattern of transcription during the late stages of viral infection and was distinct from the pattern of transcription generated from viral DNA in vitro. In particular, the late promoter of the minichromosomal templates was transcribed with high efficiency, similar to viral DNA templates, while the early-early promoter of the minichromosomal templates was inhibited 10- to 15-fold. Finally, the number of minichromosomes competent to initiate transcription in vitro exceeded the amount actively being transcribed in vivo.
The Grainy head (GRH) family of transcription factors are crucial for the development and repair of epidermal barriers in all animals in which they have been studied. This is a high-level functional conservation, as the known structural and enzymatic genes regulated by GRH proteins differ between species depending on the type of epidermal barrier being formed. Interestingly, members of the CP2 superfamily of transcription factors, which encompasses the GRH and LSF families in animals, are also found in fungi – organisms that lack epidermal tissues. To shed light on CP2 protein function in fungi, we characterized a Neurospora crassa mutant lacking the CP2 member we refer to as grainy head-like (grhl). We show that Neurospora GRHL has a DNA-binding specificity similar to that of animal GRH proteins and dissimilar to that of animal LSF proteins. Neurospora grhl mutants are defective in conidial-spore dispersal due to an inability to remodel the cell wall, and we show that grhl mutants and the long-known conidial separation-2 (csp-2) mutants are allelic. We then characterized the transcriptomes of both Neurospora grhl mutants and Drosophila grh mutant embryos to look for similarities in the affected genes. Neurospora grhl appears to play a role in the development and remodeling of the cell wall, as well as in the activation of genes involved in defense and virulence. Drosophila GRH is required to activate the expression of many genes involved in cuticular/epidermal-barrier formation. We also present evidence that GRH plays a role in adult antimicrobial defense. These results, along with previous studies of animal GRH proteins, suggest the fascinating possibility that the apical extracellular barriers of some animals and fungi might share an evolutionary connection, and that the formation of physical barriers in the last common ancestor was under the control of a transcriptional code that included GRH-like proteins.
Upon stimulation of mature B cells, class switch recombination (CSR) can alter the specific immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region that is expressed. In a tissue culture cell line, we previously demonstrated that inhibition of late SV40 factor (LSF) family members enhanced IgM to IgA CSR. Here, isotype specificity of CSR regulation by LSF family members is addressed in primary mouse splenic B cells. First, we demonstrate that LBP-1a is the prevalent family member in B lymphocytes. Second, we demonstrate by ChIP that LBP-1a binds genomic sequences around mouse switch regions (S) in an isotype-specific manner, in accordance with computational predictions: binding is observed to Sμ and Sα, but not to the tested Sγ1, regions. Importantly, binding of LBP-1a is tightly regulated, with occupancy at genomic S regions dramatically decreasing following LPS stimulation. Finally, the consequence of DNA-binding by LBP-1a is determined using bone marrow chimeric mice in which LSF/LBP-1 activity is inhibited in hematopoietic lineages. Upon in vitro stimulation of such primary B-cells, CSR occurs with a higher efficiency to IgA, but not to IgG1. These results are supportive of a model whereby LBP-1a represses CSR in an isotype-specific manner via direct interaction with switch regions involved in the recombination.
B cells; Immunoglobulins; Molecular Biology; Recombinant Viral Vectors
The host factor LSF represses the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat (LTR) by mediating recruitment of histone deacetylase. We show that pyrrole-imidazole polyamides targeted to the LTR can specifically block LSF binding both in vitro and within cells via direct access to chromatin, resulting in increased LTR expression.
OBJECTIVES—The only locus unequivocally associated with late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk is APOE. However, this locus accounts for less than half the genetic variance. A recent study suggested that the A allele of the 3'UTR biallelic polymorphism in the LBP-1c/CP2/LSF gene was associated with reduced AD risk. Samples were diagnosed predominantly by clinical rather than pathological criteria. We have sought to replicate this finding in a series of necropsy confirmed, late onset AD cases and non-demented controls.
METHODS—The 3'UTR polymorphism in the LBP-1c/CP2/LSF gene was typed in 216 necropsy confirmed AD cases and 301 non-demented controls aged >73 years.
RESULTS—We found different LBP-1c/CP2/LSF allele distributions in our AD cases and controls (p=0.048); the A allele was associated with reduced AD risk. The allele and genotype frequencies observed in our cases and controls were similar to those previously reported. No significant effects emerged when the data were adjusted for age, sex, or apoE ε4 carrier status.
CONCLUSIONS—Our data support LBP-1c/CP2/LSF as a candidate gene/risk factor for AD and provide justification for future studies to investigate the role of this gene in Alzheimer's disease.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; LBP-1c/CP2/LSF; dementia; MRC/CFAS study
To illustrate the prognostic significance of hedgehog (Hh) signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients, and to evaluate the efficacy of a novel nanoparticle-encapsulated inhibitor of the Hh transcription factor, Gli-1 (“NanoHHI”) using in vitro and in vivo models of human HCC.
Patched1 (Ptch1) expression was detected in tumor tissue microarrays of 396 HCC patients who underwent curative surgical resection during 2/2000 to 12/2002. Prognostic significance was assessed using Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and log-rank tests. The effects of NanoHHI alone and in combination with sorafenib were investigated on HCC cell lines. Primary HCC tumor growth and metastasis were examined in vivo using subcutaneous and orthotopic HCC xenografts in nude mice.
Elevated expression of Ptch1 in HCC tissues was significantly related to disease recurrence, as well as a shorter time to recurrence in HCC patients. In vitro, NanoHHI significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion of HCC cell lines. NanoHHI potently suppressed in vivo tumor growth of HCC xenografts in both subcutaneous and orthotopic milieus, and in contrast to sorafenib, resulted in significant attenuation of systemic metastases in the orthotopic setting. Further, NanoHHI significantly decreased the population of CD133-expressing HCC cells, which have been implicated in tumor initiation and metastases.
Downstream Hh signaling has prognostic significance in HCC patients as it predicts early recurrence. Gli inhibition through NanoHHI has profound tumor growth inhibition and anti-metastatic effects in HCC models, which may provide a new strategy in the treatment of HCC patients and prevention post-operative recurrence.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hedgehog; smoothened; Gli1; HPI-1; polymeric nanoparticle; NanoHHI
Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) plays important role in cell cycle and oncogenic transformation. Here we report the mechanisms by which KLF8 crosstalks with Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and regulates hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells proliferation. We show that overexpression of KLF8 and nucleus accumulation of β-catenin in the human HCC samples are positively correlated. More importantly, KLF8 protein levels plus nucleus accumulation of β-catenin levels were significantly elevated in high-grade HCC compared to low-grade HCC. Using HCC HepG2 cells we find that, on the one hand both protein and mRNA of KLF8 are up-regulated under Wnt3a stimulation, on the other hand overexpression of KLF8 increases the cytoplasm and nucleus accumulation of β-catenin, recruits p300 to β-catenin/T-cell factor 4 (TCF4) transcription complex, enhances TOP flash report gene transcription, and induces Wnt/β-catenin signaling target genes c-Myc, cyclin D1 and Axin1 expression. Knockdown of KLF8 using shRNA inhibits Wnt3a induced transcription of TOP flash report gene and expression of c-Myc, cyclin D1 and Axin1. Knockdown of β-catenin by shRNA rescues the enhanced HepG2 and Hep3B cells proliferation ability induced by overexpression of KLF8.
Background & Aims
De novo lipogenesis is believed to be involved in oncogenesis. We investigated the role of aberrant lipid biosynthesis in pathogenesis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
We evaluated the expression of enzymes that regulate lipogenesis in human normal liver tissues and HCC and surrounding, non-tumor, liver tissues from patients using real-time reverse transcription PCR, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical assays. Effects of lipogenic enzymes on human HCC cell lines were evaluated using inhibitors and overexpression experiments. The lipogenic role of the proto-oncogene AKT was assessed in vitro and in vivo.
In human liver samples, de novo lipogenesis was progressively induced from non-tumorous liver tissue toward the HCC. The extent of aberrant lipogenesis correlated with clinical aggressiveness, activation of the AKT–mTOR signaling pathway, and suppression of AMP-activated protein kinases. In HCC cell lines, the AKT–mTORC1–RPS6 pathway promoted lipogenesis via transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that included inhibition of FASN ubiquitination by the USP2a de-ubiquitinase and disruption of the SREBP1 and SREBP2 degradation complexes. Suppression of the genes ACLY, ACAC, FASN, SCD1, or SREBP1, which are involved in lipogenesis, reduced proliferation and survival of HCC cell lines and AKT-dependent cell proliferation. Overexpression of an activated form of AKT in livers of mice induced lipogenesis and tumor development.
De novo lipogenesis has pathogenic and prognostic significance for HCC. Inhibitors of lipogenic signaling, including those that inhibit the AKT pathway, might be useful as therapeutics for patients with liver cancer.
AMPK; liver cancer; liver disease; lipid biosynthesis