Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy related to asbestos and erionite exposure. AP-1 transcriptional activity and NF-kB signaling pathway have been linked to mesothelial cell transformation and tumor progression. HGF and c-Met are highly expressed in mesotheliomas. PI3K, AKT and the downstream mTOR are involved in cell growth and survival and are often found to be activated in mesothelioma. p16INK4a and p14ARF are frequently inactivated in human mesothelioma, and approximately 50% of mesotheliomas contain NF2 mutation. Molecular therapies aimed at interfering with these pathways have not improved the dismal prognosis of mesothelioma, except, possibly, for a small subset of patients that have benefit from certain therapies. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of asbestos-induced inflammation in the initiation and growth of mesothelioma; HMGB1 and Nalp3 inflammasome have been identified as key initiators of this process. Asbestos induces cell necrosis, causing the release of HMGB1 that, in turn, may activate Nalp3 inflammasome, a process that is enhanced by asbestos-induced production of ROS. HMGB1 and Nalp3 induce pro-inflammatory responses and lead to the secretion of IL-1β and TNF-α, and NF-κB activity, thereby promoting cell survival and tumor growth. Novel strategies that interfere with asbestos and erionite-mediated inflammation might prevent or delay the onset of mesothelioma in high-risk cohorts, including individuals genetically predisposed, and/or inhibit tumor growth. The very recent discovery that germline BAP1 mutations cause a new cancer syndrome characterized by mesothelioma, uveal melanoma and melanocytic tumors provides researchers with a novel target for prevention and early detection.
Mesothelioma; asbestos; erionite; carcinogenesis; cancer treatment
Mesothelial cells, the progenitor cell of the asbestos-induced tumor mesothelioma, are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of asbestos, although the molecular mechanisms by which asbestos induces injury in mesothelial cells are not known. We asked whether asbestos induced apoptosis in mesothelial cells and whether reactive oxygen species were important. Pleural mesothelial cells (rabbit or human) were exposed to asbestos (crocidolite, amosite, or chrysotile) or control particles at moderate doses (1-10 microg/cm2) over 24 h and evaluated for oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation, loss of membrane phospholipid asymmetry, and nuclear condensation. Asbestos fibers, not control particles, induced apoptosis in mesothelial cells by all assays and induction of apoptosis was dose dependent for all types of asbestos, with crocidolite (5 microg/cm2) inducing 15.0+/-1.1% (mean+/-SE; n = 12) apoptosis versus control particles < 4%. Apoptosis induced by asbestos, but not by actinomycin D, was inhibited by extracellular catalase, superoxide dismutase in the presence of catalase, hypoxia (8% oxygen), deferoxamine, 3-aminobenzamide [an inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribosyl) polymerase], and cytochalasin B. Only catalase and cytochalasin B decreased fiber uptake. We conclude that asbestos induces apoptosis in mesothelial cells via reactive oxygen species. Escape from this pathway could allow the abnormal survival of mesothelial cells with asbestos-induced mutations.
Malignant mesotheliomas (MM) are neoplasms arising from mesothelial cells that line the body cavities, most commonly the pleural and peritoneal cavities. Although traditionally recognized as associated with occupational asbestos exposures, MMs can appear in individuals with no documented exposures to asbestos fibers, and emerging data suggest that genetic susceptibility and simian virus 40 (SV40) infections also facilitate the development of MMs. Both asbestos exposure and transfection of human mesothelial cells with SV40 large and small antigens (Tag, tag) cause genetic modifications and cell signaling events, most notably the induction of cell survival pathways and activation of receptors, and other proteins that favor the growth and establishment of MMs as well as their resistance to chemotherapy. Recent advances in high-throughput technologies documenting gene and protein expression in patients and animal models of MMs can now be validated in human MM tissue arrays. These have revealed expression profiles that allow more accurate diagnosis and prognosis of MMs. More importantly, serum proteomics has revealed two new candidates (osteopontin and serum mesothelin-related protein or SMRP) potentially useful in screening individuals for MMs. These mechanistic approaches offer new hope for early detection and treatment of these devastating tumors.
asbestos; mesothelioma; cancer; SV40
Mesothelial cells, the progenitor cells of the asbestos-induced tumor mesothelioma, are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of asbestos, although the molecular mechanisms by which asbestos induces injury in mesothelial cells are not known. We asked whether asbestos induced apoptosis in mesothelial cells and whether reactive oxygen species were important. Rabbit pleural mesothelial cells were exposed to crocidolite asbestos or control particles (1-10 micrograms/cm2) over 24 hr and evaluated for oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation, loss of membrane phospholipid asymmetry, and nuclear condensation. Asbestos fibers, not control particles, induced apoptosis in mesothelial cells by all assays. Induction of apoptosis was dose dependent; crocidolite (5 micrograms/cm2) induced apoptosis (15.0 +/- 1.1%, mean +/- SE; n = 12) versus control particles (< 4%), as measured by appearance of nuclear condensation. Apoptosis induced by asbestos, but not by actinomycin D, was inhibited by extracellular catalase, superoxide dismutase in the presence of catalase, hypoxia (8% oxygen), deferoxamine, and 3-aminobenzamide (an inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme, poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribosyl) polymerase). We conclude that asbestos induces apoptosis in mesothelial cells via reactive oxygen species. We speculate that escape from this pathway could allow the abnormal survival of mesothelial cells with asbestos-induced mutations.
Fifteen years have passed since we published findings in the AJRCMB demonstrating that induction of early response fos/jun proto-oncogenes in rodent tracheal and mesothelial cells correlates with fibrous geometry and pathogenicity of asbestos. Our study was the first to suggest that the aberrant induction of signaling responses by crocidolite asbestos and erionite, a fibrous zeolite mineral associated with the development of malignant mesotheliomas (MMs) in areas of Turkey, led to altered gene expression. New data questioned the widely held belief at that time that the carcinogenic effects of asbestos in the development of lung cancer and MM were due to genotoxic or mutagenic effects. Later studies by our group revealed that proto-oncogene expression and several of the signaling pathways activated by asbestos were redox dependent, explaining why antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes were elevated in lung and pleura after exposure to asbestos and how they alleviated many of the phenotypic and functional effects of asbestos in vitro or after inhalation. Since these original studies, our efforts have expanded to understand the interface between asbestos-induced redox-dependent signal transduction cascades, the relationship between these pathways and cell fate, and the role of asbestos and cell interactions in development of asbestos-associated diseases. Of considerable significance is the fact that the signal transduction pathways activated by asbestos are also important in survival and chemoresistance of MMs and lung cancers. An understanding of the pathogenic features of asbestos fibers and dysregulation of signaling pathways allows strategies for the prevention and therapy of asbestos-related diseases.
proto-oncogenes; mitogen-activated protein kinases; epidermal growth factor receptor; activator protein-1; nuclear factor-κB
Exposures to an amphibole fiber in Libby, Montana cause increases in malignant mesothelioma (MM), a tumor of the pleural and peritoneal cavities with a poor prognosis. Affymetrix microarray/GeneSifter analysis was used to determine alterations in gene expression of a human mesothelial cell line (LP9/TERT-1) by a non-toxic concentration (15×106 μm2/cm2) of unprocessed Libby six-mix and negative (glass beads) and positive (crocidolite asbestos) controls. Because manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD; SOD2) was the only gene upregulated significantly (p < 0.05) at both 8 and 24 h, we measured SOD protein and activity, oxidative stress and glutathione (GSH) levels to better understand oxidative events after exposure to non-toxic (15×106 μm2/cm2) and toxic concentrations (75×106 μm2/cm2) of Libby six-mix.
Exposure to 15×106 μm2/cm2 Libby six-mix elicited significant (p < 0.05) upregulation of one gene (SOD2; 4-fold) at 8 h and 111 gene changes at 24 h, including a 5-fold increase in SOD2. Increased levels of SOD2 mRNA at 24 h were also confirmed in HKNM-2 normal human pleural mesothelial cells by qRT-PCR. SOD2 protein levels were increased at toxic concentrations (75×106 μm2/cm2) of Libby six-mix at 24 h. In addition, levels of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD; SOD1) protein were increased at 24 h in all mineral groups. A dose-related increase in SOD2 activity was observed, although total SOD activity remained unchanged. Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence staining and flow cytometry revealed a dose- and time-dependent increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by LP9/TERT-1 cells exposed to Libby six-mix. Both Libby six-mix and crocidolite asbestos at 75×106 μm2/cm2 caused transient decreases (p < 0.05) in GSH for up to 24 h and increases in gene expression of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in LP9/TERT-1 and HKNM-2 cells.
Libby six-mix causes multiple gene expression changes in LP9/TERT-1 human mesothelial cells, as well as increases in SOD2, increased production of oxidants, and transient decreases in intracellular GSH. These events are not observed at equal surface area concentrations of nontoxic glass beads. Results support a mechanistic basis for the importance of SOD2 in proliferation and apoptosis of mesothelial cells and its potential use as a biomarker of early responses to mesotheliomagenic minerals.
Exposure to asbestos fibers increases the risk of mesothelioma in humans. One hypothetical carcinogenic mechanism is that asbestos fibers may directly induce mutations in mesothelial cells. Although the uptake of asbestos fibers by mesothelial cells is recognized, methods for the quantification of the uptake have not been well established. In the present study, we evaluated two distinct methods, using crocidolite fibers and MeT5A mesothelial cells. One method is histological evaluation using the cell-block technique, which allows for the direct cross-sectional observation of cells and fibers. We found the bright field observation with ×1000 magnification (oil-immersion) of the sample with Kernechtrot staining was most suitable for this purpose. The other method is flow cytometric analysis, which permits the evaluation of a much larger number of cells. We observed that the side scatter (SSC) increased with the intracellular fibers, and that the “mean SSC ratio (treated/control)” was useful for quantification. We could collect the cells with abundant internalized crocidolite fibers by sorting. Results of the two methodologies were correlated well in the experiments. The quantities of internalized fibers increased with incubation time and loaded dosage, but they were inversely associated with cellular density in culture.
flow cytometry; cell-block; crocidolite; endocytosis; quantitative assessment
Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), with their unique physicochemical and mechanical properties, have many potential new applications in medicine and industry. There has been great concern subsequent to preliminary investigations of the toxicity, biopersistence, pathogenicity, and ability of SWCNTs to translocate to subpleural areas. These results compel studies of potential interactions of SWCNTs with mesothelial cells.
Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma in 80–90% of individuals who develop the disease. Because the mesothelial cells are the primary target cells of asbestos-induced molecular changes mediated through an oxidant-linked mechanism, we used normal mesothelial and malignant mesothelial cells to investigate alterations in molecular signaling in response to a commercially manufactured SWCNT.
In the present study, we exposed mesothelial cells to SWCNTs and investigated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, cell viability, DNA damage, histone H2AX phosphorylation, activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1), stimulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERKs), Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs), protein p38, and activation of activator protein-1 (AP-1), nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and protein serine-threonine kinase (Akt).
Exposure to SWCNTs induced ROS generation, increased cell death, enhanced DNA damage and H2AX phosphorylation, and activated PARP, AP-1, NF-κB, p38, and Akt in a dose-dependent manner. These events recapitulate some of the key molecular events involved in mesothelioma development associated with asbestos exposure.
The cellular and molecular findings reported here do suggest that SWCNTs can cause potentially adverse cellular responses in mesothelial cells through activation of molecular signaling associated with oxidative stress, which is of sufficient significance to warrant in vivo animal exposure studies.
asbestos; cancer; carbon nanotubes; cell injury; DNA damage; mesothelioma; nanoparticles
Exposure of mesothelial cells to asbestos fibers in vitro has been shown to induce DNA damage mediated by oxidants. An early cellular response to DNA damage is increased expression of the p53 protein. This protein induces transcription of genes that activate cell cycle checkpoints or induce apoptosis. A murine mesothelial cell line that spontaneously acquired a point mutation in the p53 gene shows increased sensitivity to DNA damage induced by crocidolite asbestos fibers. It is hypothesized that p53-deficient mice will show increased sensitivity to the genotoxic effects of asbestos and accelerated development of malignant mesotheliomas.
The mechanism by which pleural mesothelial cells, the likely progenitor cells of asbestos-induced mesothelioma, recognize and internalize crocidolite asbestos is unknown. Because incubation of asbestos fibers with serum increases their association with cells, we asked whether a protein coat on asbestos increased internalization of fibers via specific cellular receptors. Coating crocidolite with citronectin, but not with fibronectin or other proteins, increased fiber internalization by rabbit pleural mesothelial cells, as measured by a new technique using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Receptors for vitronectin, alpha v beta 3 and alpha v beta 5, were identified on mesothelial cells. Inhibiting vitronectin receptors by plating cells on a vitronectin substrate or incubating cells with excess soluble vitronectin reduced internalization of vitronectin-coated crocidolite. Inhibition of alpha v beta 5, but not alpha v beta 3, with blocking antibodies similarly reduced internalization. In addition, alpha v beta 5, but not alpha v beta 3, showed immunocytochemical colocalization with fibers. Of biologic relevance, coating crocidolite with serum also increased internalization via alpha v beta 5, an effect dependent on the vitronectin in serum. We conclude that pleural mesothelial cells recognize and internalize vitronectin- and serum-coated asbestos via the integrin alpha v beta 5. Since integrins initiate some of the same signaling pathways as does asbestos, our findings may provide insights into the mechanisms of asbestos-induced biologic effects.
Identifying and understanding the early molecular events that underscore mineral pathogenicity using in vitro screening tests is imperative, especially given the large number of synthetic and natural fibers and particles being introduced into the environment. The purpose of the work described here was to examine the ability of gene profiling (Affymetrix microarrays) to predict the pathogenicity of various materials in a human mesothelial cell line (LP9/TERT-1) exposed to equal surface area concentrations (15×106 or 75×106 μm2/cm2) of crocidolite asbestos, nonfibrous talc, fine titanium dioxide (TiO2), or glass beads for 8 or 24 h. Since crocidolite asbestos caused the greatest number of alterations in gene expression, multiplex analysis (Bio-Plex) of proteins released from LP9/TERT-1 cells exposed to crocidolite asbestos was also assessed to reveal if this approach might also be explored in future assays comparing various mineral types. To verify that LP9/TERT-1 cells were more sensitive than other cell types to asbestos, human ovarian epithelial cells (IOSE) were also utilized in microarray studies. Upon assessing changes in gene expression via microarrays, principal component analysis (PCA) of these data was used to identify patterns of differential gene expression.
PCA of microarray data confirmed that LP9/TERT-1 cells were more responsive than IOSE cells to crocidolite asbestos or nonfibrous talc, and that crocidolite asbestos elicited greater responses in both cell types when compared to nonfibrous talc, TiO2, or glass beads. Bio-Plex analysis demonstrated that asbestos caused an increase in interleukin-13 (IL-13), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These responses were generally dose-dependent (bFGF and G-CSF only) and TNF-α-independent (except for G-CSF).
Microarray and Bio-Plex analyses are valuable in determining early molecular responses to fibers/particles and may directly contribute to understanding the etiology of diseases caused by them. The number and magnitude of changes in gene expression or “profiles” of secreted proteins may serve as valuable metrics for determining the potential pathogenicity of various mineral types. Hence, alterations in gene expression and cytokine/chemokine changes induced by crocidolite asbestos in LP9/TERT-1 cells may be indicative of its increased potential to cause mesothelioma in comparison to the other nonfibrous materials examined.
The incidence of mesothelioma has gone from almost none to the current 2500–3000 cases per year in the USA. This estimate is an extrapolation based on information available from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program that collects information on approximately 12% of the US population. Mesothelioma is a cancer that is linked to exposure to carcinogenic mineral fibers. Asbestos and erionite have a proven causative role; the possible role of other mineral fibers in causing mesothelioma is being investigated. Asbestos is considered the main cause of mesothelioma in the US and in the Western world. The capacity of asbestos to induce mesothelioma has been linked to it ability to cause the release of TNF-α (that promotes mesothelial cells survival), other cytokines and growth factors, and of mutagenic oxygen radicals from exposed mesothelial cells and nearby macrophages. Some investigators proposed that as a consequence of the regulations to prevent exposure and to forbid and or limit the use of asbestos, the incidence of mesothelioma in the US (and in some European countries) should have started to decline before or around the year 2000, and sharply decline thereafter. Unfortunately, there are no data available yet to support this optimistic hypothesis. Simian virus 40 (SV40) infection and radiation exposure are additional causes, although their contribution to the overall incidence of mesothelioma is unknown. Recent data from several laboratories indicate that asbestos exposure and SV40 infection are co-carcinogens in causing mesothelioma in rodents and in causing malignant transformation of human mesothelial cells in tissue culture. An exciting new development comes from the discovery that genetic susceptibility to mineral fiber carcinogenesis plays a critical role in the incidence of this cancer in certain families. It is hoped that the identification of this putative mesothelioma gene will lead to novel mechanistically driven preventive and therapeutic approaches.
Members of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) family may have distinct roles in the development of cell injury and repair, differentiation and carcinogenesis. Here we show, using a synthetic small molecule MEK1/2 inhibitor (U0126) and RNA silencing of ERK1 and 2, comparatively, that ERK2 is critical to transformation and homeostasis of human epithelioid malignant mesotheliomas (MMs), asbestos-induced tumors with a poor prognosis. Whereas MM cell (HMESO) lines stably transfected with shERK1 or shERK2 both exhibited significant decreases in cell proliferation in vitro, injection of shERK2 cells, and not shERK1 cells, into immunocompromised SCID mice showed significant attenuated tumor growth in comparison to shControl cells. Inhibition of migration, invasion, and colony formation occurred in shERK2 MM cells in vitro, suggesting multiple roles of ERK2 in neoplasia. Microarray and qRT-PCR analyses revealed gene expression that was significantly increased (CASP1, TRAF1, FAS) or decreased (SEMA3E, RPS6KA2, EGF, BCL2L1) in shERK2-transfected MM cells in contrast to shControl-transfected MM cells. Most striking decreases were observed in mRNA levels of Semaphorin 3 (SEMA3E), a candidate tumor suppressor gene linked to inhibition of angiogenesis. These studies demonstrate a key role of ERK2 in novel gene expression critical to the development of epithelioid MMs. After injection of sarcomatoid human MM (PPMMill) cells into SCID mice, both shERK1 and shERK2 lines showed significant decreased tumor growth, suggesting heterogeneous effects of ERKs in individual MMs.
Asbestos; mesothelioma; extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK1/2); Mitogen activated protein kinases; gene expression
Human mesothelial cells (LP9/TERT-1) were exposed to low and high (15 and 75 μm2/cm2 dish) equal surface area concentrations of crocidolite asbestos, nonfibrous talc, fine titanium dioxide (TiO2), or glass beads for 8 or 24 hours. RNA was then isolated for Affymetrix microarrays, GeneSifter analysis and QRT-PCR. Gene changes by asbestos were concentration- and time-dependent. At low nontoxic concentrations, asbestos caused significant changes in mRNA expression of 29 genes at 8 hours and of 205 genes at 24 hours, whereas changes in mRNA levels of 236 genes occurred in cells exposed to high concentrations of asbestos for 8 hours. Human primary pleural mesothelial cells also showed the same patterns of increased gene expression by asbestos. Nonfibrous talc at low concentrations in LP9/TERT-1 mesothelial cells caused increased expression of 1 gene Activating Transcription Factor 3 (ATF3) at 8 hours and no changes at 24 hours, whereas expression levels of 30 genes were elevated at 8 hours at high talc concentrations. Fine TiO2 or glass beads caused no changes in gene expression. In human ovarian epithelial (IOSE) cells, asbestos at high concentrations elevated expression of two genes (NR4A2, MIP2) at 8 hours and 16 genes at 24 hours that were distinct from those elevated in mesothelial cells. Since ATF3 was the most highly expressed gene by asbestos, its functional importance in cytokine production by LP9/TERT-1 cells was assessed using siRNA approaches. Results reveal that ATF3 modulates production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-13, G-CSF) and growth factors (VEGF and PDGF-BB) in human mesothelial cells.
mesothelioma; crocidolite asbestos; talc; titanium dioxide; gene profiling
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral fibers which are associated in occupational settings with increased risks of malignant mesothelioma (MM), lung cancers, and pulmonary fibrosis (asbestosis). The six recognized types of asbestos fibers (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite) are different chemically and physically and may have different dose-response relationships in the development of various asbestos-associated diseases. For example, epidemiologic and lung fiber content studies suggest that the pathogenic potential and durability of crocidolite is much greater than chrysotile asbestos in the causation of human MM. We have used isolated mesothelial cells, the target cells of MM, as well as epithelial cells of the lung, the target cells of lung cancers, in vitro to elucidate the dose-response relationships in expression of early response protooncogenes and other genes critical to cell proliferation and malignant transformation in cells exposed to crocidolite and chrysotile asbestos, as well as a number of nonpathogenic fibers and particles. These studies reveal distinct dose-response patterns with different types of asbestos, suggesting a threshold for effects of chrysotile both in in vitro studies and inhalation experiments. The different patterns of gene expression have been confirmed in lungs of rats exposed by inhalation to these types of asbestos. Experiments also suggest no observed adverse effect levels after evaluation of lung injury, inflammation, and fibrosis at lower concentrations of both types of asbestos.
asbestos; mesothelioma; lung cancer; threshold; proliferation; protooncogenes
We have previously shown that cultured malignant mesothelioma cells contain elevated manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) mRNA levels and activities compared with non-malignant mesothelial cells. As many cytotoxic drugs generate both superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, we assessed the relative significance of catalase and the glutathione redox cycle, as well as glutathione S-transferase (GST), in protecting these cells against hydrogen peroxide and epirubicin toxicity. Mesothelioma cell lines containing high (M38K cells) and low (M14K cells) MnSOD, and non-malignant MeT-5A mesothelial cells were selected for the study. M38K cells were the most resistant of these three cell types to hydrogen peroxide (0.1-0.5 mM, 4 h) and epirubicin (0.1-0.5 microg ml(-1), 48 h) as judged by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and by high-energy nucleotide (ATP, ADP, AMP) depletion. Total glutathione was higher in M38K cells (63.8 +/- 20.3 nnmol mg(-1) protein) than in M14K (25.2 +/- 8.2 nmol mg[-1]) or MeT-5A cells (23.5 +/- 4.5 nmol mg[-1]). Furthermore, GST specific activity was higher in M38K cells (111.3 +/- 15.8 U mg[-1]) than in M14K cells (77.4 +/- 6.6 U mg[-1]) or in MeT-5A cells (68.8 +/- 7.6 U mg[-1]). Western blotting indicated the presence of GST-pi in all these cells, the reactivity again being highest in M38K cells. Depletion of glutathione by buthionine sulphoximine and inhibition of catalase by aminotriazole enhanced hydrogen peroxide toxicity in all cell types, while only the depletion of glutathione increased epirubicin toxicity. We conclude that simultaneous induction of multiple antioxidant enzymes can occur in human mesothelioma cells. In addition to the high MnSOD activity, hydrogen peroxide scavenging antioxidant enzymes, glutathione and GST can partly explain the high hydrogen peroxide and epirubicin resistance of these cells in vitro.
Asbestos fibers cause chronic inflammation that may be critical to the development of malignant mesothelioma (MM). Two human MM cell lines (Hmeso, PPM Mill) were used in a SCID mouse xenograft model to assess time-dependent patterns of inflammation and tumor formation. After intraperitoneal (IP) injection of MM cells, mice were euthanized at 7, 14, and 30 days, and peritoneal lavage fluid (PLF) was examined for immune cell profiles and human and mouse cytokines. Increases in human MM-derived IL-6, IL-8, bFGF, and VEGF were observed in mice at 7 days postinjection of either MM line, and a striking neutrophilia was observed at all time points. Free-floating tumor spheroids developed in mice at 14 days, and both spheroids and adherent MM tumor masses occurred in all mice at 30 days. Results suggest that inflammation and cytokine production precede and may be critical to the development of MMs.
cytokines; chemokines; asbestos; inflammation; mesothelioma
The aim of this study was to evaluate adverse effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) produced for industrial purposes, on the human epithelial cell line A549. MWCNT were dispersed in dipalmitoyl lecithin (DPL), a component of pulmonary surfactant, and the effects of dispersion in DPL were compared to those in 2 other media: ethanol (EtOH) and phosphate buffer saline (PBS). Effects of MWCNT were also compared to those of 2 asbestos fibers (chrysotile and crocidolite) and carbon black (CB) nanoparticles, not only in A549 cells, but also on mesothelial cells (MeT5A human cell line), used as an asbestos-sensitive cell type. MWCNT formed agglomerates on top of both cell lines (surface area 15–35 μm2), that were significantly larger and more numerous in PBS than in EtOH and DPL. Whatever the dispersion media, incubation with 100 μg/ml MWCNT induced a similar decrease in metabolic activity without changing cell membrane permeability or apoptosis. Neither MWCNT cellular internalization nor oxidative stress were observed. In contrast, asbestos fibers penetrated into the cells, decreased metabolic activity but not cell membrane permeability and increased apoptosis, without decreasing cell number. CB was internalized without any adverse effects.
In conclusion, this study demonstrates that MWCNT produced for industrial purposes exert adverse effects without being internalized by human epithelial and mesothelial pulmonary cell lines.
1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine; Apoptosis; Asbestos, Crocidolite; toxicity; Asbestos, Serpentine; toxicity; Cell Line; Cells, Cultured; Epithelial Cells; drug effects; Ethanol; Humans; Nanotubes, Carbon; toxicity; Oxidative Stress; Phosphates; Pulmonary Alveoli; cytology; drug effects; Sodium Chloride; Soot; toxicity
The combination of cigarette smoke and high-level occupational asbestos exposure produces a synergistic increase in the incidence of lung cancer; however, smoking does not affect the incidence of mesothelioma. Here we present the results of tests of two theories that have been proposed to explain this phenomenon; namely, that pleural mesothelial cells are resistant to cigarette smoke-induced damage and that the pleural connective tissue acts as a barrier that prevents smoke from reaching the mesothelial cells. To test these hypotheses, excised whole rat lung preparations were exposed to either internal (intratracheal) or external (pleural surface) smoke. For comparison, additional excised lung preparations were exposed to solutions of hydrogen peroxide either externally or intratracheally. Mesothelial cells exposed to external smoke showed widespread, dose-dependent uptake of Trypan blue. Mesothelial cells did not take up Trypan blue after exposure to internal smoke. Bronchial epithelial cells exposed to internal smoke did show uptake, but to a lesser degree than externally exposed mesothelial cells. Examination by scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed that internal smoke did not affect mesothelial cell ultrastructure, whereas external smoke produced obvious mesothelial cell damage and mesothelial cell detachment. Catalase and deferoxamine, scavengers of active oxygen species, provided protection against smoke-induced mesothelial cell injury, but inactivated catalase did not. External hydrogen peroxide produced a very similar, dose-dependent pattern of Trypan blue uptake and ultrastructural changes. Intratracheal hydrogen peroxide also damaged mesothelial cells, but the extent of damage was always less than with comparable concentrations of external hydrogen peroxide.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PI3K/AKT signalling pathway is aberrantly active and plays a critical role for cell cycle progression of human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MMe) cells.
AKT is one of the important cellular targets of perifosine, a novel bio-available alkylphospholipid that has displayed significant anti-proliferative activity in vitro and in vivo in several human tumour model systems and is currently being tested in clinical trials.
We tested Perifosine activity on human mesothelial cells and different mesothelioma cell lines, in order to provide evidence of its efficacy as single agent and combined therapy.
We demonstrate here that perifosine, currently being evaluated as an anti-cancer agent in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, caused a dose-dependent reduction of AKT activation, at concentrations causing MMe cell growth arrest. In this study we firstly describe that MMe cells express aside from AKT1 also AKT3 and that either the myristoylated, constitutively active, forms of the two proteins, abrogated perifosine-mediated cell growth inhibition. Moreover, we describe here a novel mechanism of perifosine that interferes, upstream of AKT, affecting EGFR and MET phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate a significant increase in cell toxicity when MMe cells were treated with perifosine in combination with cisplatin.
This study provides a novel mechanism of action of perifosine, directly inhibiting EGFR/MET-AKT1/3 axis, providing a rationale for a novel translational approach to the treatment of MMe.
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I signalling stimulates proliferation, survival, and invasion in malignant mesothelioma and other tumour types. Studies have found that tumourigenesis is linked to dysregulation of cap-dependent protein translation.
The effect of IGF stimulation on cap-mediated translation activation in mesothelioma cell lines was studied using binding assays to a synthetic 7-methyl GTP-cap analogue. In addition, cap-mediated translation was genetically repressed in these cells with a dominant active motive of 4E-BP1.
In most mesothelioma cell lines, IGF-I stimulation resulted in a hyperphosphorylation-mediated inactivation of 4E-BP1 compared with that in normal mesothelial cells. An inhibitor of Akt diminished IGF-I-mediated phosphorylation of 4E-BP1, whereas inhibiting MAPK signalling had no such effect. IGF-I stimulation resulted in the activation of the cap-mediated translation complex as indicated by an increased eIF4G/eIF4E ratio in cap-affinity assays. Akt inhibition reversed the eIF4G/eIF4E ratio. Mesothelioma cells transfected with an activated 4E-BP1 protein (4E-BP1A37/A46) were resistant to IGF-I-mediated growth, motility, and colony formation. In a murine xenograft model, mesothelioma cells expressing the dominant active 4E-BP1A37/A46 repressor protein showed abrogated tumourigenicity compared with control tumours.
IGF-I signalling in mesothelioma cells drives cell proliferation, motility, and tumourigenesis through its ability to activate cap-mediated protein translation complex through PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling.
4E-BP1; translation; cap-dependent; eIF4E; eIF4F; IGF-I
Cross-feedback activation of MAPK and AKT pathways is implicated as a resistance mechanism for cancer therapeutic agents targeting either RAF/MEK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR. It is thus important to have a better understanding of the molecular resistance mechanisms to improve patient survival benefit from these agents. Here we show that BRAFV600E is a negative regulator of the AKT pathway. Expression of BRAFV600E in NIH3T3 cells significantly suppresses MEK inhibitor (RG7167) or mTORC1 inhibitor (rapamycin) induced AKT phosphorylation (pAKT) and downstream signal activation. Treatment-induced pAKT elevation is found in BRAF wild type melanoma cells but not in a subset of melanoma cell lines harboring BRAFV600E. Knock-down of BRAFV600E in these melanoma cells elevates basal pAKT and downstream signals, whereas knock-down of CRAF, MEK1/2 or ERK1/2 or treatment with a BRAF inhibitor have no impact on pAKT. Mechanistically, we show that BRAFV600E interacts with rictor complex (mTORC2) and regulates pAKT through mTORC2. BRAFV600E is identified in mTORC2 after immunoprecipitation of rictor. Knock-down of rictor abrogates BRAFV600E depletion induced pAKT. Knock-down of BRAFV600E enhances cellular enzyme activity of mTORC2. Aberrant activation of AKT pathway by PTEN loss appears to override the negative impact of BRAFV600E on pAKT. Taken together, our findings suggest that in a subset of BRAFV600E melanoma cells, BRAFV600E negatively regulates AKT pathway in a rictor-dependent, MEK/ERK and BRAF kinase-independent manner. Our study reveals a novel molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of feedback loops between the MAPK and AKT pathways.
Asbestos-induced mesothelioma is a challenging social problem in many countries, and oxidative stress via iron is closely associated with its carcinogenesis. Mesothelioma is thought to originate from the mesothelial cells that cover the somatic cavity such as pleural, pericardial and peritoneal cavities. They are single layered and so flat that it is extremely difficult to obtain pure mesothelial cells as control samples from experimental animals. Here we describe a novel method to collect mesothelial cells from animals by the use of simple equipments. Surface of the most organs including lung, spleen and liver are covered with a single layer of mesothelial cells. Scraping the surface of those organs with razor blades after snap-freeze in liquid nitrogen satisfactorily confers almost pure population of mesothelial cells. This simple method would be helpful for obtaining mesothelial control samples from animals to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of a variety of mesothelial pathology.
mesothelium; mesothelioma; podoplanin; western blot analysis; immunohistochemistry
The interplay between peritoneal mesothelial cells and ovarian cancer cells is critical for the initiation and peritoneal dissemination of, and ascites formation in, ovarian cancer. The production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) by both peritoneal mesothelial cells and ovarian cancer cells has been shown to promote metastatic phenotype in ovarian cancer. Herein, we report that exogenous addition or ectopic overexpression of the matricellular protein SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) significantly attenuated LPA-induced proliferation, chemotaxis, and invasion in both highly metastatic SKOV3 and less metastatic OVCAR3 ovarian cancer cell lines. SPARC appears to modulate these functions, at least in part, through the regulation of LPA receptor levels and the attenuation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and protein kinase B/AKT signaling. Moreover, our results show that SPARC not only significantly inhibited both basal and LPA-induced interleukin (IL) 6 production in both cell lines but also attenuated IL-6-induced mitogenic, chemotactic, and proinvasive effects, in part, through significant suppression of ERK1/2 and, to a lesser extent, of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signaling pathways. Our results strongly suggest that SPARC exerts a dual inhibitory effect on LPA-induced mesothelial-ovarian cancer cell crosstalk through the regulation of both LPA-induced IL-6 production and function. Taken together, our findings underscore the use of SPARC as a potential therapeutic candidate in peritoneal ovarian carcinomatosis.
SPARC; LPA; IL-6; ovarian cancer; mesothelial cells
Asbestos has been shown to cause chromosomal damage and DNA aberrations. Exposure to asbestos causes many lung diseases e.g. asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, and lung cancer, but the disease-related processes are still largely unknown. We exposed the human cell lines A549, Beas-2B and Met5A to crocidolite asbestos and determined time-dependent gene expression profiles by using Affymetrix arrays. The hybridization data was analyzed by using an algorithm specifically designed for clustering of short time series expression data. A canonical correlation analysis was applied to identify correlations between the cell lines, and a Gene Ontology analysis method for the identification of enriched, differentially expressed biological processes.
We recognized a large number of previously known as well as new potential asbestos-associated genes and biological processes, and identified chromosomal regions enriched with genes potentially contributing to common responses to asbestos in these cell lines. These include genes such as the thioredoxin domain containing gene (TXNDC) and the potential tumor suppressor, BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19kD-interacting protein gene (BNIP3L), GO-terms such as "positive regulation of I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB cascade" and "positive regulation of transcription, DNA-dependent", and chromosomal regions such as 2p22, 9p13, and 14q21. We present the complete data sets as Additional files.
This study identifies several interesting targets for further investigation in relation to asbestos-associated diseases.