Reactivation of tumor-suppressor p53 for targeted cancer therapy is an attractive strategy for cancers bearing wild-type (WT) p53. Targeting the Mdm2–p53 interface or MdmX ((MDM4), mouse double minute 4)–p53 interface or both has been a focus in the field. However, targeting the E3 ligase activity of Mdm2–MdmX really interesting new gene (RING)–RING interaction as a novel anticancer strategy has never been explored. In this report, we describe the identification and characterization of small molecule inhibitors targeting Mdm2–MdmX RING–RING interaction as a new class of E3 ligase inhibitors. With a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based E3 activity assay in high-throughput screening of a chemical library, we identified inhibitors (designated as MMRis (Mdm2–MdmX RING domain inhibitors)) that specifically inhibit Mdm2–MdmX E3 ligase activity toward Mdm2 and p53 substrates. MMRi6 and its analog MMRi64 are capable of disrupting Mdm2–MdmX interactions in vitro and activating p53 in cells. In leukemia cells, MMRi64 potently induces downregulation of Mdm2 and MdmX. In contrast to Nutlin3a, MMRi64 only induces the expression of pro-apoptotic gene PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) with minimal induction of growth-arresting gene p21. Consequently, MMRi64 selectively induces the apoptotic arm of the p53 pathway in leukemia/lymphoma cells. Owing to the distinct mechanisms of action of MMRi64 and Nutlin3a, their combination synergistically induces p53 and apoptosis. Taken together, this study reveals that Mdm2–MdmX has a critical role in apoptotic response of the p53 pathway and MMRi64 may serve as a new pharmacological tool for p53 studies and a platform for cancer drug development.
Thymic carcinoma is a rare but lethal mediastinal cancer. The optimal treatment for advanced thymic carcinoma is not yet established. This report is the first known of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (sabr) with CyberKnife (Accuray, Sunnyvale, CA, U.S.A.) as definitive therapy for thymic carcinoma.
The patient, a 70-year-old woman with thymic carcinoma, invasion into neighboring organs, and pleural metastases—underwent CyberKnife sabr at 40 Gy in 5 fractions for two lesions, one in the thymus and one in the right paraspinal pleura. After 61 months of observation, a partial response was observed in the irradiated fields. However, disease progression in the non-irradiated pleura was noted. The patient underwent salvage CyberKnife sabr for the four initially nonirradiated pleural lesions. Computed tomography images obtained 10 months after the salvage therapy revealed a partial response.
The patient is living, with progression-free irradiated lesions and no radiation-related toxicity. CyberKnife sabr is feasible for patients who are unable to undergo either surgery or conventionally fractionated radiation therapy.
Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy; CyberKnife; thymic carcinoma
The high mortality in breast cancer is often associated with metastatic progression in patients. Previously we have demonstrated that testes-specific protease 50 (TSP50), an oncogene overexpressed in breast cancer samples, could promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. However, whether TSP50 also has a key role in cell invasion and cancer metastasis, and the mechanism underlying the process are still unclear. Here we found that TSP50 overexpression greatly promoted cell migration, invasion, adhesion and formation of the stellate structures in 3D culture system in vitro as well as lung metastasis in vivo. Conversely, TSP50 knockdown caused the opposite changes. Mechanistic studies revealed that NF-κB signaling pathway was required for TSP50-induced cell migration and metastasis, and further results indicated that TSP50 overexpression enhanced expression and secretion of MMP9, a target gene of NF-κB signaling. In addition, knockdown of MMP9 resulted in inhibition of cell migration and invasion in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. Most importantly, immunohistochemical staining of human breast cancer samples strongly showed that the coexpression of TSP50 and p65 as well as TSP50 and MMP9 were correlated with increased metastasis and poor survival. Furthermore, we found that some breast cancer diagnosis-associated features such as tumor size, tumor grade, estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) levels, were correlated well with TSP50/p65 and TSP50/MMP9 expression status. Taken together, this work identified the TSP50 activation of MMP9 as a novel signaling mechanism underlying human breast cancer invasion and metastasis.
In this study, we evaluated the ability of gene expression profiles to predict chemotherapy response and survival in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Gene expression and clinical–pathological data were evaluated in five independent cohorts, including three randomised clinical trials for a total of 1055 patients with TNBC, basal-like disease (BLBC) or both. Previously defined intrinsic molecular subtype and a proliferation signature were determined and tested. Each signature was tested using multivariable logistic regression models (for pCR (pathological complete response)) and Cox models (for survival). Within TNBC, interactions between each signature and the basal-like subtype (vs other subtypes) for predicting either pCR or survival were investigated.
Within TNBC, all intrinsic subtypes were identified but BLBC predominated (55–81%). Significant associations between genomic signatures and response and survival after chemotherapy were only identified within BLBC and not within TNBC as a whole. In particular, high expression of a previously identified proliferation signature, or low expression of the luminal A signature, was found independently associated with pCR and improved survival following chemotherapy across different cohorts. Significant interaction tests were only obtained between each signature and the BLBC subtype for prediction of chemotherapy response or survival.
The proliferation signature predicts response and improved survival after chemotherapy, but only within BLBC. This highlights the clinical implications of TNBC heterogeneity, and suggests that future clinical trials focused on this phenotypic subtype should consider stratifying patients as having BLBC or not.
breast cancer; genomics; subtypes; intrinsic; basal like; chemotherapy; neoadjuvant
Extra-articular femoral deformity in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is realigned by either intra-articular correction or extra-articular osteotomy. The more distant the deformity is away from knee joint, the more likely it is corrected by the former method. No report described the use of antegrade cephalomedullary femoral nail to fix the osteotomy followed by computer-assisted navigation TKA. This report described the unusual use of this method to manage a 64-year-old man with femoral subtrochanteric fracture malunion and osteoarthritis of knee. He demonstrated a satisfactory functional outcome and good lower limb alignment.
Pharmacologic therapy is recommended to reduce future fracture risk. We examined osteoporosis medications dispensed to older women after first fracture. Only 23 % received therapy during the first year post-fracture. Prior osteoporosis therapy, a prior osteoporosis diagnosis, and older age were good predictors of post-fracture osteoporosis therapy.
Pharmacologic therapy is recommended after osteoporotic fracture to reduce future fracture risk. The objective of this retrospective study was to examine osteoporosis therapy dispensed to women post-fracture.
We identified women ≥50 years old in a large administrative claims database from 2003 to mid-2012 who were continuously enrolled 2 years before (baseline) and 1 year after first osteoporotic fracture. Exclusions were Paget’s disease or malignant neoplasm. Pre- and post-fracture osteoporosis therapies (oral and parenteral) were assessed overall and by fracture site.
A total of 47,171 women of mean (SD) age of 63 (10) years were eligible; fractures included 8 % hip, 17 % vertebral, 73 % non-hip/non-vertebral, and 3 % multiple fracture sites. Only 18 % received osteoporosis therapy within 90 days and 23 % within 1 year post-fracture. Overall, 19 % of women had a prior osteoporosis diagnosis; 20 % had received osteoporosis therapy during baseline. Of 37,649 (80 %) women without baseline therapy, only 9 % initiated pharmacologic therapy within 1 year. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of therapy within 1 year post-fracture was significantly greater for women who had received baseline osteoporosis therapy (versus none) and who had vertebral (OR 12.7, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 11.2–14.5), hip (15.2, 12.5–18.7), or non-hip/non-vertebral fracture (34.4, 31.7–37.3). Other significant predictors included pre-fracture osteoporosis diagnosis (1.6, 1.4–1.7) and older age (OR range, 1.3–1.7). Treatment adherence was significantly better among women with baseline osteoporosis diagnosis.
The substantial post-fracture treatment gap represents an important unmet need for women with osteoporotic fractures. Fracture liaison or adherence programs could lead to improved post-fracture treatment rates.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00198-014-2827-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hip fracture; Osteoporosis; Post-fracture therapy; Under-treatment; Vertebral fracture
The crystallization process from a solution begins with nucleation, which determines the structure and size of the resulting crystals. Further understanding of multi-pathway crystallizations from solution through two-step nucleation mechanisms is needed. This study uses density functional theory to probe the thermodynamic properties of alumina clusters at high temperature and reveals the thermodynamic relationship between these clusters and the saturation levels of dissolved oxygen and aluminum in an Fe–O–Al melt. Based on the thermodynamics of cluster formation and the experimental evidence for both excess oxygen in the Fe-O-Al melt and for alumina with a polycrystalline structure in solidified iron, we demonstrate that the appearance of various types of clusters that depends on the saturation ratio determines the nucleation steps that lead to the various crystallization pathways. Such mechanisms may also be important in nucleation and crystallization from solution.
Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) is overpressed in many human tumors and has a key role in regulating intracellular redox balance. Recently, thioredoxin system has emerged as a valuable target for anticancer drug development. Herein we demonstrate that selenocystine (SeC) could enhance auranofin (AF)-induced A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo through synergetic inhibition of TrxR1. SeC pretreatment significantly enhanced AF-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) by regulating Bcl-2 family proteins. The combined treatment with SeC and AF also resulted in enhanced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, DNA damage, and inactivation of ERK and AKT. Inhibitors of ERK and AKT effectively enhanced combined treatment-induced apoptotic cell death. However, inhibition of ROS reversed the apoptosis induced by SeC and AF, and recovered the inactivation of ERK and AKT, which revealed the importance of ROS in cell apoptosis and regulation of ERK and AKT pathways. Moreover, xenograft lung tumor growth in nude mice was more effectively inhibited by combined treatment with SeC and AF by induction of apoptosis through targeting TrxR1 in vivo. Taken together, our results suggest the strategy to use SeC and AF in combination could be a highly efficient way to achieve anticancer synergism by targeting TrxR1.
selenocystine; auranofin; thioredoxin reductase; apoptosis; signaling pathway
Accumulating evidence indicates that cancer-initiating cells (CICs) are responsible for cancer initiation, relapse, and metastasis. Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is typically classified into proximal colon, distal colon, and rectal cancer. The gradual changes in CRC molecular features within the bowel may have considerable implications in colon and rectal CICs. Unfortunately, limited information is available on CICs derived from rectal cancer, although colon CICs have been described. Here we identified rectal CICs (R-CICs) that possess differentiation potential in tumors derived from patients with rectal adenocarcinoma. The R-CICs carried both CD44 and CD54 surface markers, while R-CICs and their immediate progenies carried potential epithelial–mesenchymal transition characteristics. These R-CICs generated tumors similar to their tumor of origin when injected into immunodeficient mice, differentiated into rectal epithelial cells in vitro, and were capable of self-renewal both in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, subpopulations of R-CICs resisted both 5-fluorouracil/calcium folinate/oxaliplatin (FolFox) and cetuximab treatment, which are the most common therapeutic regimens used for patients with advanced or metastatic rectal cancer. Thus, the identification, expansion, and properties of R-CICs provide an ideal cellular model to further investigate tumor progression and determine therapeutic resistance in these patients.
rectal adenocarcinoma; cancer-initiating cells (CICs); chemoresistance; CD44; CD54
Temozolomide (TMZ) is an alkylating agent currently used as first-line therapy for gliomas treatment due to its DNA-damaging effect. However, drug resistance occurs, preventing multi-cycle use of this chemotherapeutic agent. One of the major mechanisms of cancer drug resistance is enhanced activity of a DNA repair enzyme, O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT), which counteracts chemotherapy-induced DNA alkylation and is a key component of chemoresistance. MGMT repairs TMZ-induced DNA lesions, O6-meG, by transferring the alkyl group from guanine to a cysteine residue. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the field, with particular emphasis on the inhibitors of MGMT and underlying mechanisms. Literature search was performed through PubMed and all relevant articles were reviewed, with particular attention to MGMT, its role in TMZ-resistant gliomas, effects of MGMT inhibitors and the underlying mechanisms. Several strategies are currently being pursued to improve the therapeutic efficacy of TMZ via inhibition of MGMT to reduce chemoresistance and improve overall survival. MGMT may be a promising target for the treatment of TMZ-resistant gliomas.
temozolomide; resistance; O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase; chemotherapy; gliomas
HeLa cells treated with celastrol, a natural compound with inhibitive effect on proteasome, exhibited increase in apoptotic rate and characteristics of apoptosis. To clarify the signal network activated by celastrol to induce apoptosis, both the direct target proteins and undirect target proteins of celastrol were searched in the present study. Proteasome catalytic subunit β1 was predicted by computational analysis to be a possible direct target of celastrol and confirmed by checking direct effect of celastrol on the activity of recombinant human proteasome subunit β1 in vitro. Undirect target-related proteins of celastrol were searched using proteomic studies including two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis and iTRAQ-based LC-MS analysis. Possible target-related proteins of celastrol such as endoplasmic reticulum protein 29 (ERP29) and mitochondrial import receptor Tom22 (TOM22) were found by 2-DE analysis of total cellular protein expression profiles. Further study showed that celastrol induced ER stress and ER stress inhibitor could ameliorate cell death induced by celastrol. Celastrol induced translocation of Bax into the mitochondria, which might be related to the upregulation of BH-3-only proteins such as BIM and the increase in the expression level of TOM22. To further search possible target-related proteins of celastrol in ER and ER-related fractions, iTRAQ-based LC-MS method was use to analyze protein expression profiles of ER/microsomal vesicles-riched fraction of cells with or without celastrol treatment. Based on possible target-related proteins found in both 2-DE analysis and iTRAQ-based LC-MS analysis, protein–protein interaction (PPI) network was established using bioinformatic analysis. The important role of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) in the signal cascades of celastrol was suggested. Pretreatment of LiCL, an inhibitor of GSK3β, could significantly ameliorate apoptosis induced by celastrol. On the basis of the results of the present study, possible signal network of celastrol activated by celastrol leading to apoptosis was predicted.
celastrol; apoptosis; endothelium reticulum; proteomics; bioinformatics
Lon protease is a multifunction protein and operates in protein quality control and stress response pathways in mitochondria. Human Lon is upregulated under oxidative and hypoxic stresses that represent the stress phenotypes of cancer. However, little literature undertakes comprehensive and detailed investigations on the tumorigenic role of Lon. Overexpression of Lon promotes cell proliferation, apoptotic resistance to stresses, and transformation. Furthermore, Lon overexpression induces the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) that result from Lon-mediated upregulation of NDUFS8, a mitochondrial Fe-S protein in complex I of electron transport chain. Increased level of mitochondrial ROS promotes cell proliferation, cell survival, cell migration, and epithelial–mesenchymal transition through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Ras-ERK activation. Overall, the present report for the first time demonstrates the role of Lon overexpression in tumorigenesis. Lon overexpression gives an apoptotic resistance to stresses and induces mitochondrial ROS production through Complex I as signaling molecules to activate Ras and MAPK signaling, giving the survival advantages and adaptation to cancer cells. Finally, in silico and immunohistochemistry analysis showed that Lon is overexpressed specifically in various types of cancer tissue including oral cancer.
lon protease; cell survival; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species (ROS); tumorigenesis
It has recently been proposed that a three-gene model (SCMGENE) that measures ESR1, ERBB2, and AURKA identifies the major breast cancer intrinsic subtypes and provides robust discrimination for clinical use in a manner very similar to a 50-gene subtype predictor (PAM50). However, the clinical relevance of both predictors was not fully explored, which is needed given that a ~30 % discordance rate between these two predictors was observed. Using the same datasets and subtype calls provided by Haibe-Kains and colleagues, we compared the SCMGENE assignments and the research-based PAM50 assignments in terms of their ability to (1) predict patient outcome, (2) predict pathological complete response (pCR) after anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy, and (3) capture the main biological diversity displayed by all genes from a microarray. In terms of survival predictions, both assays provided independent prognostic information from each other and beyond the data provided by standard clinical–pathological variables; however, the amount of prognostic information was found to be significantly greater with the PAM50 assay than the SCMGENE assay. In terms of chemotherapy response, the PAM50 assay was the only assay to provide independent predictive information of pCR in multivariate models. Finally, compared to the SCMGENE predictor, the PAM50 assay explained a significantly greater amount of gene expression diversity as captured by the two main principal components of the breast cancer microarray data. Our results show that classification of the major and clinically relevant molecular subtypes of breast cancer are best captured using larger gene panels.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-012-2143-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Microarrays; PAM50; Prognosis; Gene expression
ER-positive (ER+ ) breast cancer includes all of the intrinsic molecular subtypes, although the luminal A and B subtypes predominate. In this study, we evaluated the ability of six clinically relevant genomic signatures to predict relapse in patients with ER+ tumors treated with adjuvant tamoxifen only.
Four microarray datasets were combined and research-based versions of PAM50 intrinsic subtyping and risk of relapse (PAM50-ROR) score, 21-gene recurrence score (OncotypeDX), Mammaprint, Rotterdam 76 gene, index of sensitivity to endocrine therapy (SET) and an estrogen-induced gene set were evaluated. Distant relapse-free survival (DRFS) was estimated by Kaplan–Meier and log-rank tests, and multivariable analyses were done using Cox regression analysis. Harrell's C-index was also used to estimate performance.
All signatures were prognostic in patients with ER+ node-negative tumors, whereas most were prognostic in ER+ node-positive disease. Among the signatures evaluated, PAM50-ROR, OncotypeDX, Mammaprint and SET were consistently found to be independent predictors of relapse. A combination of all signatures significantly increased the performance prediction. Importantly, low-risk tumors (>90% DRFS at 8.5 years) were identified by the majority of signatures only within node-negative disease, and these tumors were mostly luminal A (78%–100%).
Most established genomic signatures were successful in outcome predictions in ER+ breast cancer and provided statistically independent information. From a clinical perspective, multiple signatures combined together most accurately predicted outcome, but a common finding was that each signature identified a subset of luminal A patients with node-negative disease who might be considered suitable candidates for adjuvant endocrine therapy alone.
breast cancer; genomics; luminal; mammaprint; oncotype; PAM50
pyogenic liver abscess; epigastric pain; diabetes mellitus
Methods: Total and nuclear p65 immunoreactivity was measured by immunocytochemistry in the sputum cells of 11 smokers with moderate COPD during an exacerbation and after 6–8 weeks of clinical stability.
Results: Total sputum cell count was significantly increased during exacerbations from a median (IQR) of 880 (510–1865) to 1914.5 (1065–3205) x 103/ml (p<0.05). The main inflammatory cells in the sputum were neutrophils (83.2 (75.4–92.3)%) and macrophages (14.7 (2.6–21.6)%) and their relative proportion did not change during exacerbations. Nuclear staining for p65 was absent in sputum neutrophils, both during exacerbations and in the stable phase. In contrast, the percentage of macrophages expressing nuclear p65 increased significantly during exacerbations from a median (IQR) of 16 (7–24)% to 41.4 (6–69)% (p<0.05).
Conclusions: NF-κB appears to be activated in sputum macrophages but not in sputum neutrophils during exacerbations of COPD
OBJECTIVE—To evaluate serum concentations of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and bone sialoprotein (BSP) as predictors of disease progression in hip osteoarthrtitis (OA).
METHODS—Forty eight consecutive patients, referred to hospital for symptomatic hip OA, (ACR criteria) were monitored in a one year prospective trial with radiographs and serum samples. The radiographs were graded for joint space narrowing, osteophytes, and sclerosis and the joint space width was measured by a digitised image analyser. Serum COMP and BSP were quantified by immunoassays.
RESULTS—The COMP concentrations at baseline correlated with the joint space width at entry and with its yearly mean narrowing (r = 0.38, p = 0.002) but not with joint space narrowing grade progression. The concentrations were higher in patients with bilateral hip OA (p = 0.03). The serum BSP concentrations at baseline were unrelated to OA progression but correlated inversely to the osteophyte grade (r = −0.36, p = 0.004) and sclerosis grade ( r = −0.42, p = 0.0004).
CONCLUSION—Serum COMP seems to be a surrogate marker of OA and may be of interest for the detection of patients at risk of rapidly progressing disease in hip OA. Serum BSP changes seem to reflect alterations in the subchondral bone turnover in hip OA. Measurement of joint space width using a digitised image analyser is a sensitive way of assessing OA progression that facilitates evaluation of tissue markers in relation to anatomical changes in the joint.
Keywords: osteoarthritis; hip; cartilage oligomeric matrix protein; bone sialoprotein
The kinetics of processing of glyceride-modified prolipoprotein that accumulated in globomycin-treated Escherichia coli has been found to be affected by sec mutations, i.e., secA, secE, secY, secD, and secF, and by metabolic poisons which affect proton motive force (PMF). The effect of sec mutations on processing of glyceride-modified prolipoprotein in vivo was not due to a secondary effect on PMF. Neither a secF mutation nor metabolic poisons affected the processing of previously accumulated proOmpA protein in vivo, suggesting that the requirements for functional sec gene products and PMF are specific to the processing of lipoprotein precursors by signal peptidase II.
The tissue and cellular distribution of the DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase (ATase) is an important question in relation to the response of tumour and normal tissues to chemotherapeutic regimes employing alkylating agents such as methyltriazenes and nitrosoureas. In order to examine this issue by immunostaining, we have raised a rabbit antiserum to apparently pure recombinant human enzyme. The antiserum is highly specific and sensitive, detecting a band at 24 kDa on western blots of crude extracts of ATase-expressing human lymphoblastoid cells, liver and melanoma. Adjacent sections of acetone or formalin fixed normal human liver and subcutaneous malignant melanoma were reacted with preimmune serum or antiserum and an immunoperoxidase detection system with silver enhancement was used to locate binding of the primary antibody to the antigen. In sections reacted with preimmune serum or with antigen-preadsorbed antiserum, only faint cytoplasmic and little or no nuclear staining was seen. In contrast, using antiserum, the reaction in positively staining cells was very intense and predominantly nuclear. In the liver, there was interindividual variation in the cellular distribution of reaction with staining present in all discernable cell types in most samples but confined to the hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells in others. In the melanoma sections, all discernable cell types showed mainly nuclear staining: the intensity of staining varied between tissue samples and there was evidence of a range of intermediate staining intensities with some melanoma cells showing no detectable reaction.
RNA was isolated from varicella-zoster virus-infected Flow 5000 cells (diploid fibroblasts) at late times after infection. With the use of overlapping DNA probes representing all regions of the varicella-zoster genome, an extensive Northern blot analysis of the RNA was carried out. The analysis revealed at least 58 discrete transcripts ranging in size from approximately 0.8 to 6.5 kilobases. RNAs were found to be homologous to all probes used except for those mapping at approximately map unit 0.3, where no RNA transcripts could be detected. Comparison of the sizes and locations of RNA transcripts mapping in the right-hand ends of the varicella-zoster virus and the herpes simplex virus DNAs shows a number of striking analogies, suggesting their similar genomic organization.
We investigated the degradation of radioisotopically labeled intracellular protein in starved, intact cells of Pseudomonas putida P2 (ATCC 25571) and the regulation of this process. Intracellular protein isotopically labeled with L-[4,5-3H]leucine during log-phase growth at 30 C is degraded at rates of 1 to 2%/h in log-phase cells and 7 to 9%/h in starved cells. Rifampin, chloramphenicol, and tosyllysine chloromethylketone lower the rate of protein degradation by starved cells. Addition to starved cells of a nutrient upon which the culture is induced for growth rapidly lowers the rate of protein degradation from 7 to 9%/h to less than 1.5%/h. A nutrient that is oxidized but that cannot immediately support growth also lowers the rate of starvation-induced protein degradation. Proteolytic activity of cell extracts requires a divalent metal ion and may be inhibited up to 60% by tosyllysine chloromethylketone or p-toluenesulfonyl fluoride. Rifampin and chloramphenicol have no effect. In contrast to intact cells, extracts of growing or starving cells degrade protein at equivalent rates. We also investigated the stabilities of the inducible transport system and of four inducible intracellular enzymes of L-arginine catabolism. These include: the membrane-associated, L-arginine-specific transport system; L-arginine oxidase (oxidase); alpha-ketoarginine decarboxylase (decarboxylase); gamma-guanidinobutyraldehyde dehydrogenase ( dehydrogenase); and gamma-guanidinobutyrate amidinohydrolase (hydrolase). In starved cells, the rates of loss of activities were: transport and dehydrogenase activities, stable; oxidase and decarboxylase activities, 20 to 30%/h; hydrolase activity, 5 to 8%/h. Chloramphenicol decreases the rate of loss of oxidase, decarboxylase, and hydrolase activity, whereas p-toluenesulfonyl fluoride lowers the rate of loss of decarboxylase but not of oxidase or hydrolase activity. Addition to starved cells of a nutrient for which they are already induced for growth (e.g., malate, a noninducer of arginine catabolic enzymes) decreases the rate of loss of oxidase and decarboxylase activity but not that of the hydrolase.
A truncated human O6-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase (ATase) cDNA was ligated into an expression vector under the control of the mouse metallothionein-1 gene promotor and upstream of part of the human growth hormone gene to provide splice and polyadenylation signals. Transfection of this construct into human cells resulted in very high levels of ATase expression (more than 300 fmoles/mg protein versus less than 2 fm/mg protein in parent vector transfected control cells). Microinjection of a 4.2 kb fragment of this vector into B6D2F2 mouse embryos and implantation of survivors into pseudopregnant females has so far generated 35 offspring. Southern analysis of tail tip DNA has shown that 11 of the offspring are transgenic for the human ATase gene, between 1 and at least 30 copies of the gene being detected. Human ATase transcripts were detected in total RNA extracted from liver obtained from two male transgenic mice by partial hepatectomy. Cell free extracts of liver samples from five transgenic mice showed up to 4 times higher ATase levels than control livers.