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1.  Identification of a Novel Compound That Suppresses Breast Cancer Invasiveness by Inhibiting Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling via Estrogen Receptor α 
Journal of Cancer  2014;5(5):336-343.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of death by cancer among females worldwide. An overwhelming majority of these deaths is because of metastasis. Estrogen stimulates and promotes growth of breast tumors, whereas transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling promotes invasion and metastasis. We previously reported that estrogen and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) suppressed breast cancer metastasis by inhibiting TGF-β signaling, whereas antiestrogens that suppress breast cancer growth, such as the selective ER modulator tamoxifen (TAM) or the pure antiestrogen fulvestrant (ICI 182,780), cannot suppress TGF-β signaling or breast cancer invasiveness. Therefore, we predicted that a compound that inhibits TGF-β signaling but does not facilitate ERα signaling would be ideal for suppressing breast cancer invasiveness and growth. In the present study, we identified an ideal candidate compound, N-23. Like estrogen, N-23 strongly decreased expression of TGF-β/Smad target gene plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), but it did not increase the expression of ERα target gene pS2. While estrogen decreased the levels of phosphorylated Smad2 and Smad3, N-23 had no effect. In addition, TGF-β-dependent recruitment of Smad3 to the PAI-1 gene promoter was inhibited in the presence of estrogen or N-23. We also investigated the effects of N-23 on proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells. In contrast to estrogen, N-23 inhibited the cellular proliferation of breast cancer cells. Moreover, we showed that N-23 suppressed the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells to the same extent as by estrogen. Taken together, our findings indicate that N-23 may be a candidate compound that is effective in inhibiting breast cancer progression.
doi:10.7150/jca.7202
PMCID: PMC3982180  PMID: 24723976
TGF-β; ERα; breast cancer; compounds; invasion and metastasis.
2.  A nonclassical vitamin D receptor pathway suppresses renal fibrosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(11):4579-4594.
The TGF-β superfamily comprises pleiotropic cytokines that regulate SMAD and non-SMAD signaling. TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is known to be involved in tissue fibrosis, including renal fibrosis. Here, we found that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3–bound [1,25(OH)2D3-bound] vitamin D receptor (VDR) specifically inhibits TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction through direct interaction with SMAD3. In mouse models of tissue fibrosis, 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment prevented renal fibrosis through the suppression of TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction. Based on the structure of the VDR-ligand complex, we generated 2 synthetic ligands. These ligands selectively inhibited TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction without activating VDR-mediated transcription and significantly attenuated renal fibrosis in mice. These results indicate that 1,25(OH)2D3-dependent suppression of TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is independent of VDR-mediated transcriptional activity. In addition, these ligands did not cause hypercalcemia resulting from stimulation of the transcriptional activity of the VDR. Thus, our study provides a new strategy for generating chemical compounds that specifically inhibit TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction. Since TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is reportedly involved in several disorders, our results will aid in the development of new drugs that do not cause detectable adverse effects, such as hypercalcemia.
doi:10.1172/JCI67804
PMCID: PMC3809783  PMID: 24135137
4.  MYBBP1A suppresses breast cancer tumorigenesis by enhancing the p53 dependent anoikis 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:65.
Background
Tumor suppressor p53 is mutated in a wide variety of human cancers and plays a critical role in anoikis, which is essential for preventing tumorigenesis. Recently, we found that a nucleolar protein, Myb-binding protein 1a (MYBBP1A), was involved in p53 activation. However, the function of MYBBP1A in cancer prevention has not been elucidated.
Methods
Relationships between MYBBP1A expression levels and breast cancer progression were examined using patient microarray databases and tissue microarrays. Colony formation, xenograft, and anoikis assays were conducted using cells in which MYBBP1A was either knocked down or overexpressed. p53 activation and interactions between p53 and MYBBP1A were assessed by immunoprecipitation and western blot.
Results
MYBBP1A expression was negatively correlated with breast cancer tumorigenesis. In vivo and in vitro experiments using the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and ZR-75-1, which expresses wild type p53, showed that tumorigenesis, colony formation, and anoikis resistance were significantly enhanced by MYBBP1A knockdown. We also found that MYBBP1A binds to p53 and enhances p53 target gene transcription under anoikis conditions.
Conclusions
These results suggest that MYBBP1A is required for p53 activation during anoikis; therefore, it is involved in suppressing colony formation and the tumorigenesis of breast cancer cells. Collectively, our results suggest that MYBBP1A plays a role in tumor prevention in the context of p53 activation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-65
PMCID: PMC3575238  PMID: 23388179
Breast cancer; Tumorigenesis; Anoikis; p53; MYBBP1A
5.  Global analysis of DNA methylation in early-stage liver fibrosis 
Background
Liver fibrosis is caused by chemicals or viral infection. The progression of liver fibrosis results in hepatocellular carcinogenesis in later stages. Recent studies have revealed the importance of DNA hypermethylation in the progression of liver fibrosis to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the importance of DNA methylation in the early-stage liver fibrosis remains unclear.
Methods
To address this issue, we used a pathological mouse model of early-stage liver fibrosis that was induced by treatment with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 2 weeks and performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation status. This global analysis of DNA methylation was performed using a combination of methyl-binding protein (MBP)-based high throughput sequencing (MBP-seq) and bioinformatic tools, IPA and Oncomine. To confirm functional aspect of MBP-seq data, we complementary used biochemical methods, such as bisulfite modification and in-vitro-methylation assays.
Results
The genome-wide analysis revealed that DNA methylation status was reduced throughout the genome because of CCl4 treatment in the early-stage liver fibrosis. Bioinformatic and biochemical analyses revealed that a gene associated with fibrosis, secreted phosphoprotein 1 (Spp1), which induces inflammation, was hypomethylated and its expression was up-regulated. These results suggest that DNA hypomethylation of the genes responsible for fibrosis may precede the onset of liver fibrosis. Moreover, Spp1 is also known to enhance tumor development. Using the web-based database, we revealed that Spp1 expression is increased in HCC.
Conclusions
Our study suggests that hypomethylation is crucial for the onset of and in the progression of liver fibrosis to HCC. The elucidation of this change in methylation status from the onset of fibrosis and subsequent progression to HCC may lead to a new clinical diagnosis.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-5-5
PMCID: PMC3295686  PMID: 22281153
6.  The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Activity of Trip12 Is Essential for Mouse Embryogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25871.
Protein ubiquitination is a post-translational protein modification that regulates many biological conditions [1], [2], [3], [4]. Trip12 is a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates ARF and APP-BP1 [5], [6]. However, the significance of Trip12 in vivo is largely unknown. Here we show that the ubiquitin ligase activity of Trip12 is indispensable for mouse embryogenesis. A homozygous mutation in Trip12 (Trip12mt/mt) that disrupts the ubiquitin ligase activity resulted in embryonic lethality in the middle stage of development. Trip12mt/mt embryos exhibited growth arrest and increased expression of the negative cell cycle regulator p16 [7], [8], [9], [10]. In contrast, Trip12mt/mt ES cells were viable. They had decreased proliferation, but maintained both the undifferentiated state and the ability to differentiate. Trip12mt/mt ES cells had increased levels of the BAF57 protein (a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex) and altered gene expression patterns. These data suggest that Trip12 is involved in global gene expression and plays an important role in mouse development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025871
PMCID: PMC3196520  PMID: 22028794
7.  Analysis of the role of Aurora B on the chromosomal targeting of condensin I 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(7):2403-2412.
During mitosis, chromosome condensation takes place, which entails the conversion of interphase chromatin into compacted mitotic chromosomes. Condensin I is a five-subunit protein complex that plays a central role in this process. Condensin I is targeted to chromosomes in a mitosis-specific manner, which is regulated by phosphorylation by mitotic kinases. Phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 (Ser10) occurs during mitosis and its physiological role is a longstanding question. We examined the function of Aurora B, a kinase that phosphorylates Ser10, in the chromosomal binding of condensin I and mitotic chromosome condensation, using an in vitro system derived from Xenopus egg extract. Aurora B depletion from a mitotic egg extract resulted in the loss of H3 phosphorylation, accompanied with a 50% reduction of chromosomal targeting of condensin I. Alternatively, a portion of condensin I was bound to sperm chromatin, and chromosome-like structures were assembled when okadaic acid (OA) was supplemented in an interphase extract that lacks Cdc2 activity. However, chromosomal targeting of condensin I was abolished when Aurora B was depleted from the OA-treated interphase extract. From these results, it is suggested that Aurora B-dependent and Cdc2-independent pathways of the chromosomal targeting of condensin I are present.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm157
PMCID: PMC1874644  PMID: 17392339
8.  Turning Off Estrogen Receptor β-Mediated Transcription Requires Estrogen-Dependent Receptor Proteolysis▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(21):7966-7976.
Recent studies have shed light on the ligand-dependent transactivation mechanisms of nuclear receptors (NRs). When the ligand dose is reduced, the transcriptional activity of NRs should be downregulated. Here we show that a ubiquitin-proteasome pathway plays a key role in turning off transcription mediated by estrogen receptor β (ERβ). ERβ shows estrogen-dependent proteolysis, and its degradation is regulated by two regions in the receptor. The N-terminal 37-amino acid-region is necessary for the recruitment of the ubiquitin ligase, i.e., the carboxyl terminus of HSC70-interacting protein (CHIP), to degrade ERβ. In contrast, the C-terminal F domain protects ligand-unbound ERβ from proteolysis to abrogate proteasome association. Suppression of CHIP by interfering RNA inhibited this switching off of receptor-mediated transcription when the ligand dose was reduced. Our results suggest that after ligand withdrawal, the active form of the NR is selectively eliminated via ligand-dependent proteolysis to downregulate receptor-mediated transcription.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00713-06
PMCID: PMC1636734  PMID: 16940184
9.  Ligand-Selective Potentiation of Rat Mineralocorticoid Receptor Activation Function 1 by a CBP-Containing Histone Acetyltransferase Complex 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(11):3698-3706.
The rat mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) has two activation functions in distinct regions of the A/B domain, designated activation function 1a (AF-1a; amino acids 1 to 169) and AF-1b (amino acids 451 to 600). Since the p160 family protein TIF2, a known component of the AF-2 coactivator complex, potentiates the transactivation function of AF-1b but not that of AF-1a, it is likely that some other, novel protein complex interacts with the AF-1a region. Therefore, we attempted to identify such coactivator complexes from HeLa nuclear extracts by biochemical purification using a glutathione S-transferase-MR AF-1a fusion protein. Purified AF-1a region-interacting proteins were found to contain RNA helicase A (RHA) and CBP. Further analysis showed that RHA interacted with the AF-1a region directly and then recruited a complex with histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity that contained CBP. For full-length MR, aldosterone, but not hydrocortisone, was found to induce the binding of RHA/CBP complexes to the AF-1a region, as well as to allow the cooperative potentiation of MR transcriptional activity by RHA and CBP. In addition, a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that aldosterone-bound MR, but not hydrocortisone-bound MR, recruited RHA/CBP complexes to native MR target gene promoters. Our results suggested that an altered conformation of the A/B region induced by aldosterone, but not hydrocortisone, might determine the accessibility of MR AF-1a to RHA/CBP complexes.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.11.3698-3706.2002
PMCID: PMC133828  PMID: 11997506
10.  Purification and Identification of p68 RNA Helicase Acting as a Transcriptional Coactivator Specific for the Activation Function 1 of Human Estrogen Receptor α 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(8):5363-5372.
The estrogen receptor (ER) regulates the expression of target genes in a ligand-dependent manner. The ligand-dependent activation function AF-2 of the ER is located in the ligand binding domain (LBD), while the N-terminal A/B domain (AF-1) functions in a ligand-independent manner when isolated from the LBD. AF-1 and AF-2 exhibit cell type and promoter context specificity. Furthermore, the AF-1 activity of the human ERα (hERα) is enhanced through phosphorylation of the Ser118 residue by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). From MCF-7 cells, we purified and cloned a 68-kDa protein (p68) which interacted with the A/B domain but not with the LBD of hERα. Phosphorylation of hERα Ser118 potentiated the interaction with p68. We demonstrate that p68 enhanced the activity of AF-1 but not AF-2 and the estrogen-induced as well as the anti-estrogen-induced transcriptional activity of the full-length ERα in a cell-type-specific manner. However, it did not potentiate AF-1 or AF-2 of ERβ, androgen receptor, retinoic acid receptor alpha, or mineralocorticoid receptor. We also show that the RNA helicase activity previously ascribed to p68 is dispensable for the ERα AF-1 coactivator activity and that p68 binds to CBP in vitro. Furthermore, the interaction region for p68 in the ERα A/B domain was essential for the full activity of hERα AF-1. Taken together, these findings show that p68 acts as a coactivator specific for the ERα AF-1 and strongly suggest that the interaction between p68 and the hERα A/B domain is regulated by MAPK-induced phosphorylation of Ser118.
PMCID: PMC84379  PMID: 10409727
11.  Selective Interaction of Vitamin D Receptor with Transcriptional Coactivators by a Vitamin D Analog 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(2):1049-1055.
The nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a member of a nuclear receptor superfamily and acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor. A family of cotranscriptional activators (SRC-1, TIF2, and AIB-1) interacts with and activates the transactivation function of nuclear receptors in a ligand-dependent way. We examined interaction of VDR with these coactivators that was induced by several vitamin D analogs, since they exert differential subsets of the biological action of vitamin D through unknown mechanisms. Unlike other vitamin D analogs tested, OCT (22-oxa-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) induced interaction of VDR with TIF2 but not with SRC-1 or AIB-1. Consistent with these interactions, only TIF2 was able to potentiate the transactivation function of VDR bound to OCT. Thus, the present findings suggest that the structure of VDR is altered in a vitamin D analog-specific way, resulting in selective interactions of VDR with coactivators. Such selective interaction of coactivators with VDR may specify the array of biological actions of a vitamin D analog like OCT, possibly through activating a particular set of target gene promoters.
PMCID: PMC116035  PMID: 9891040

Results 1-11 (11)