XPC protein is a critical DNA damage recognition factor in nucleotide excision repair (NER) for which genetic deficiency confers a predisposition to cancer. In this study we demonstrate that XPC has a function that is independent of its canonical function in DNA repair, potentially altering the interpretation of how XPC deficiency leads to heightened cancer susceptibility. XPC enhances apoptosis induced by DNA damage in a p53 nullizygous background, acting downstream of mitochondrial permeabilization and upstream of caspase-9 activation in the DNA damage-induced apoptosis cascade. We found that deficiency in XPC upregulated production of the short isoform of caspase-2 (casp-2S). This upregulation occurred at both protein and mRNA levels through repression of the caspase-2 promoter by XPC protein. Targeted RNAi-mediated downregulation of casp-2S enhanced UV-induced apoptosis as well as activation of caspase-9 and caspase-6 in XPC-deficient cells, but not in XPC-proficient cells. In addition, XPC overexpression in various p53-deficient cancer cells resistant to cisplatin improved their sensitivity to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Given that casp-2S functions as an anti-apoptotic protein, our findings suggest that XPC enhances DNA damage-induced apoptosis through inhibition of casp-2S transcription. Together, these findings offer a mechanistic foundation to overcome the resistance of highly prevalent p53-deficient tumors to cell death induced by DNA-damaging therapeutic agents, by targeting strategies that inhibit the expression or function of casp-2S.
XPC; caspase-2S; apoptosis; DNA damage
Linear mixed-effects models involve fixed effects, random effects and covariance structure, which require model selection to simplify a model and to enhance its interpretability and predictability. In this article, we develop, in the context of linear mixed-effects models, the generalized degrees of freedom and an adaptive model selection procedure defined by a data-driven model complexity penalty. Numerically, the procedure performs well against its competitors not only in selecting fixed effects but in selecting random effects and covariance structure as well. Theoretically, asymptotic optimality of the proposed methodology is established over a class of information criteria. The proposed methodology is applied to the BioCycle study, to determine predictors of hormone levels among premenopausal women and to assess variation in hormone levels both between and within women across the menstrual cycle.
Adaptive penalty; linear mixed-effects models; loss estimation; generalized degrees of freedom
Chinese bayberry fruit is a rich source of anthocyanins, especially cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G). The present study investigated the protective effects of C3G-rich bayberry fruit extract (CRBFE) against pancreatic β cells against oxidative stress–induced injury as well as its hypoglycemic effect in diabetic mice. Bayberry extract from “Biqi” was used for both in vitro and in vivo testing because of its high C3G content and high antioxidant capacity. Pretreatment of β cells with CRBFE (containing 0.5 μmol/L C3G) prevented cell death, increased cellular viability, and decreased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and cell necrosis induced by 800 or 1,200 μmol/L H2O2. CRBFE dose-dependently up-regulated pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 gene expression, contributing to increased insulin-like growth factor II gene transcript levels and insulin protein in INS-1 cells. In addition, administration of CRBFE (150 μg of C3G/10 g of body weight twice per day) significantly reduced blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic ICR mice and increased the glucose tolerance in an oral glucose tolerance test (P<.05). Such results indicated that CRBFE might be useful in prevention and control of diabetes mellitus and diabetes-associated complications.
anthocyanins; antioxidants; diabetes; fruit extract; oxidative stress
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway has been implicated in contributing to progressive epileptogenesis in models of chronic epilepsy. Conversely, seizures themselves may directly cause acute activation of the mTOR pathway. To isolate the direct effects of seizures on the mTOR pathway, the time course and mechanisms of mTOR activation were investigated with acute seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), which does not lead to chronic epilepsy.
Western blot analysis was used to assay phosphorylation of Akt and S6, as measures of activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mTOR pathways, respectively, at various time points after PTZ seizures in rats. The ability of wortmannin, a PI3K inhibitor, to inhibit PTZ seizure-induced activation of the mTOR pathway was tested.
PTZ seizures produced an immediate, transient mTOR activation lasting several hours, but no later, more chronic activation over days to weeks. This acute stimulation of the mTOR pathway by PTZ seizures was mediated by upstream PI3K/Akt pathway activation and was blocked by a PI3K inhibitor.
Compared with models of chronic epilepsy which exhibit biphasic (acute and chronic) mTOR pathway activation, PTZ seizures only produce acute, but not chronic, mTOR activation. These results in the PTZ seizure model highlight potential differences in the involvement of the mTOR pathway between self-limited seizures and progressive epileptogenesis. These findings also suggest a potential therapeutic role of PI3K inhibitors in epilepsy.
epilepsy; seizure; pentylenetetrazole; kainate; rapamycin; rat
We previously showed that tanshinone IIA ameliorated the hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (HPH) partially by attenuating pulmonary artery remodeling. The hypoxia-induced proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) is one of the major causes for pulmonary arterial remodeling, therefore the present study was performed to explore the effects and underlying mechanism of tanshinone IIA on the hypoxia-induced PASMCs proliferation. PASMCs were isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats and cultured in normoxic (21%) or hypoxic (3%) condition. Cell proliferation was measured with 3 - (4, 5 - dimethylthiazal - 2 - yl) - 2, 5 - diphenyltetrazoliumbromide assay and cell counting. Cell cycle was measured with flow cytometry. The expression of of p27, Skp-2 and the phosphorylation of Akt were measured using western blot and/or RT-PCR respectively. The results showed that tanshinone IIA significantly inhibited the hypoxia-induced PASMCs proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner and arrested the cells in G1/G0-phase. Tanshinone IIA reversed the hypoxia-induced reduction of p27 protein, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, in PASMCs by slowing down its degradation. Knockdown of p27 with specific siRNA abolished the anti-proliferation of tanshinone IIA. Moreover, tanshinone IIA inhibited the hypoxia-induced increase of S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) and the phosphorylation of Akt, both of which are involved in the degradation of p27 protein. In vivo tanshinone IIA significantly upregulated the hypoxia-induced p27 protein reduction and downregulated the hypoxia-induced Skp2 increase in pulmonary arteries in HPH rats. Therefore, we propose that the inhibition of tanshinone IIA on hypoxia-induce PASMCs proliferation may be due to arresting the cells in G1/G0-phase by slowing down the hypoxia-induced degradation of p27 via Akt/Skp2-associated pathway. The novel information partially explained the anti-remodeling property of tanshinone IIA on pulmonary artery in HPH.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder and cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Although antiseizure medication is the first-line treatment for epilepsy, currently available medications are ineffective in a significant percentage of patients and have not clearly been demonstrated to have disease-specific effects for epilepsy. While seizures are usually intractable to medication in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a common genetic cause of epilepsy, vigabatrin appears to have unique efficacy for epilepsy in TSC. While vigabatrin increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, the precise mechanism of action of vigabatrin in TSC is not known. In this study, we investigated the effects of vigabatrin on epilepsy in a knock-out mouse model of TSC and tested the novel hypothesis that vigabatrin inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a key signaling pathway that is dysregulated in TSC. We found that vigabatrin caused a modest increase in brain GABA levels and inhibited seizures in the mouse model of TSC. Furthermore, vigabatrin partially inhibited mTOR pathway activity and glial proliferation in the knock-out mice in vivo, as well as reduced mTOR pathway activation in cultured astrocytes from both knock-out and control mice. This study identifies a potential novel mechanism of action of an antiseizure medication involving the mTOR pathway, which may account for the unique efficacy of this drug for a genetic epilepsy.
Vitexicarpin (VIT) isolated from the fruits of Vitex rotundifolia has shown antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunoregulatory properties. This work is designed to evaluate the antiangiogenic effects of VIT and address the underlying action mechanism of VIT by a network pharmacology approach. The results validated that VIT can act as a novel angiogenesis inhibitor. Firstly, VIT can exert good antiangiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular-endothelial-growth-factor- (VEGF-) induced endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and capillary-like tube formation on matrigel in a dose-dependent manner. Secondly, VIT was also shown to have an antiangiogenic mechanism through inhibition of cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis. Thirdly, VIT inhibited chorioallantoic membrane angiogenesis as well as tumor angiogenesis in an allograft mouse tumor model. We further addressed VIT's molecular mechanism of antiangiogenic actions using one of our network pharmacology methods named drugCIPHER. Then, we tested some key molecules in the VEGF pathway targeted by VIT and verified the inhibition effects of VIT on AKT and SRC phosphorylation. Taken together, this work not only identifies VIT as a novel potent angiogenesis inhibitor, but also demonstrates that network pharmacology methods can be an effective and promising approach to make discovery and understand the action mechanism of herbal ingredients.
Streptomyces bacteria are known for producing important natural compounds by secondary metabolism, especially antibiotics with novel biological activities. Functional studies of antibiotic-biosynthesizing gene clusters are generally through homologous genomic recombination by gene-targeting vectors. Here, we present a rapid and efficient method for construction of gene-targeting vectors. This approach is based on Streptomyces phage φBT1 integrase-mediated multisite in vitro site-specific recombination. Four ‘entry clones’ were assembled into a circular plasmid to generate the destination gene-targeting vector by a one-step reaction. The four ‘entry clones’ contained two clones of the upstream and downstream flanks of the target gene, a selectable marker and an E. coli-Streptomyces shuttle vector. After targeted modification of the genome, the selectable markers were removed by φC31 integrase-mediated in vivo site-specific recombination between pre-placed attB and attP sites. Using this method, part of the calcium-dependent antibiotic (CDA) and actinorhodin (Act) biosynthetic gene clusters were deleted, and the rrdA encoding RrdA, a negative regulator of Red production, was also deleted. The final prodiginine production of the engineered strain was over five times that of the wild-type strain. This straightforward φBT1 and φC31 integrase-based strategy provides an alternative approach for rapid gene-targeting vector construction and marker removal in streptomycetes.
Human enterovirus 85 (HEV85), whose prototype strain (Strain BAN00-10353/BAN/2000) was isolated in Bangladesh in 2000, is a recently identified serotype within the human enterovirus B (HEV-B) species. At present, only one nucleotide sequence of HEV85 (the complete genome sequence of the prototype strain) is available in the GenBank database.
In this study, we report the genetic characteristics of 33 HEV85 isolates that circulated in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China in 2011. Sequence analysis revealed that all these Chinese HEV85 isolates belong to 2 transmission chains, and intertypic recombination was found with the new unknown serotype HEV-B donor sequences. Two HEV85 isolates recovered from a patient presenting acute flaccid paralysis and one of his contacts were temperature-insensitive strains, and some nucleotide substitutions in the non-coding regions and in the 2C or 3D coding regions may have affected the temperature sensitivity of HEV85 strains.
The Chinese HEV85 recombinant described in this study trapped a new unknown serotype HEV-B donor sequence, indicating that new unknown HEV-B serotypes exist or circulate in Xinjiang of China. Our study also indicated that HEV85 is a prevalent and common enterovirus serotype in Xinjiang.
Stem cell-based regenerative therapy is a potential cellular therapeutic strategy for patients with incurable brain diseases. Embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) represent an attractive cell source in regenerative medicine strategies in the treatment of diseased brains. Here, we assess the capability of intracerebral embryonic NSCs transplantation for C57BL/6J mice with presbycusis in vivo. Morphology analyses revealed that the neuronal rate of apoptosis was lower in the aged group (10 months of age) but not in the young group (2 months of age) after NSCs transplantation, while the electrophysiological data suggest that the Auditory Brain Stem Response (ABR) threshold was significantly decreased in the aged group at 2 weeks and 3 weeks after transplantation. By contrast, there was no difference in the aged group at 4 weeks post-transplantation or in the young group at any time post-transplantation. Furthermore, immunofluorescence experiments showed that NSCs differentiated into neurons that engrafted and migrated to the brain, even to sites of lesions. Together, our results demonstrate that NSCs transplantation improve the auditory of C57BL/6J mice with presbycusis.
Presbycusis; neural stem cells; transplantation; C57BL/6J mice; primary auditory cortex; apoptosis; auditory brain stem response (ABR)
A Chinese human enterovirus 85 (HEV85) isolate, HTYT-ARL-AFP02F/XJ/CHN/2011, was isolated from a stool specimen of a child with acute flaccid paralysis in Xinjiang, China, in 2011. The complete genome sequence revealed that a natural intertypic recombination event had occurred between HEV85 and a previously undescribed serotype of HEV-B.
The exact effect of hypoxia on cancer development is controversial. The present study investigates the ability of osteosarcoma to form tumors in the hypoxic microenvironment induced by CoCl2. MG63 human osteosarcoma cells were cultured with different concentrations (0, 150 and 300 μM) of CoCl2 for 24 h to simulate hypoxia in vitro. The expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α was analyzed by western blotting. The proliferation and drug resistance of MG63 cells were examined using the CCK-8 assay, the apoptosis rate was detected by flow cytometry, the ability to form spheroids was assessed by a sarcosphere culture system and invasiveness was determined by a vertical invasion assay. A transplantation assay was used to evaluate the ability to form tumors in vivo. Our results showed that the proliferation of MG63 cells was inhibited by treatment with CoCl2, while no effect on drug toxicity was observed. The apoptotic rate was increased in a dose-dependent manner, the ability to form sarcospheroids was suppressed, the invasiveness was inhibited and the expression of HIF-1α was upregulated following CoCl2 treatment. We also found that the ability to form tumors in vivo was inhibited. In conclusion, we provide strong evidence that CoCl2 has the ability to inhibit osteosarcoma development; the mechanism may be related to the hypoxic microenvironment and HIF-1α may be a critical regulatory factor.
hypoxia; CoCl2; osteosarcoma; HIF-1α
We had reported that N-myc downstream–regulated gene (NDRG2) regulates colorectal cancer, breast cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer and esophageal squamous cell proliferation, development, and apoptosis. The goal of this study was to determine the expression pattern of NDRG2 in human lung cancer and its correlation with prognosis. Immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot were used to explore the expression of NDRG2 in 185 human lung cancer patients. The correlation of NDRG2 expression with patients’ survival rate was assessed by Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression. Results showed that the expression level of NDRG2 was decreased in human lung cancer tissues, and NDRG2 was positively correlated with depth of invasion (P = 0.038), vascular invasion (P = 0.036), tumor grade (P = 0.039), and tumor size (P = 0.026). Both RT-PCR and Western blots demonstrated that NDRG2 mRNA and protein levels were lower in lung cancer compared to the adjacent normal tissue from the same individual, and NDRG2 level was negatively correlated with UICC stage. Additionally, survival time of lung cancer patients with high expression of NDRG2 was longer than those with low expression during the 5-year follow-up period (P = 0.001). Meanwhile, COX regression analysis indicated that low expression of NDRG2, ≥pT3, pM1, ≥pN1 and vascular invasion were independent, poor prognostic factors of lung cancer patients. These data showed that NDRG2 may play an important role in human lung cancer tumourigenesis, and NDRG2 might serve as a novel prognostic marker in human lung cancer.
N-myc downstream–regulated gene 2; Lung cancer; Prognosis; Immunohistochemistry; UICC
High-dimensional biomarker data are often collected in epidemiological studies when assessing the association between biomarkers and human disease is of interest. We develop a latent class modeling approach for joint analysis of high-dimensional semicontinuous biomarker data and a binary disease outcome. To model the relationship between complex biomarker expression patterns and disease risk, we use latent risk classes to link the 2 modeling components. We characterize complex biomarker-specific differences through biomarker-specific random effects, so that different biomarkers can have different baseline (low-risk) values as well as different between-class differences. The proposed approach also accommodates data features that are common in environmental toxicology and other biomarker exposure data, including a large number of biomarkers, numerous zero values, and complex mean–variance relationship in the biomarkers levels. A Monte Carlo EM (MCEM) algorithm is proposed for parameter estimation. Both the MCEM algorithm and model selection procedures are shown to work well in simulations and applications. In applying the proposed approach to an epidemiological study that examined the relationship between environmental polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure and the risk of endometriosis, we identified a highly significant overall effect of PCB concentrations on the risk of endometriosis.
Categorical data; Chemical exposure biomarkers; Latent variables; Monte Carlo EM algorithm; Random effects
Organ development requires the coordination of proliferation and differentiation of various cell types. This is particularly challenging in the kidney, where up to 26 different cell types with highly specialized functions are present. Moreover, even though the nephron initially develops from a common progenitor pool, the individual nephron segments are ultimately quite different in respect to cell numbers. This suggests that some cells in the nephron have a higher proliferative index (i.e. cell cycle length) than others. Here we describe two different immunofluorescence-based approaches to accurately quantify such growth rates in the pronephric kidney of Xenopus laevis. Rapidly dividing cells were identified with the mitosis marker phospho-Histone H3, while slowly cycling cells were labeled using the thymidine analogue EdU. In addition individual nephron segments were marked using cell type specific antibodies. To accurately assess the number of positively stained cells, embryos were then serially sectioned and analyzed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Growth rates were established by counting the mitosis or S-phase events in relation to the overall cells present in the nephron segment of interest. This experimental design is very reproducible and can easily be modified to fit other animal models and organ systems.
Cell Cycle; Kidney; Metanephros; Mitosis; Pronephros; Xenopus
Over 200 cases of undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver (UESL) have been reported since 1978 when this disease was first described. In the present study, we describe a case of UESL in a 7-year-old female, whose initial symptoms included swelling in the upper abdomen and a palpable enormous irregular tumor. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination revealed a massive focal lesion in the right lobe of the liver. Hepatic malignant tumor with a high possibility of hepatoblastoma was diagnosed. The tumor was surgically removed and confirmed to be UESL by postoperative pathology and immunohistochemical staining analysis. The patient then received chemotherapy consisting of three cycles of epirubicin (20 mg, days 1–2) and cisplatin (15 mg, days 1–3). To date, the patient has survived for 22 months, and is currently in a good general condition without evidence of local metastasis or recurrence. Although UESL has a high malignancy and a poor prognosis, cases of long-term survival with improved diagnosis and therapy have recently been reported. Therefore, it has been proposed that UESL should not be considered as an hepatic tumor with a poor prognosis. Total resection with preoperative or postoperative radio-chemotherapy is currently considered to be the key approach to improving the survival rate.
liver; undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver; liver tumor
Dicer, an endonuclease in RNase III family, is essential for the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Aberrant expression of Dicer has been shown in various cancers including some subtypes of T cell lymphoma (TCL), which influences patient prognosis. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3742330A>G has been identified in the Dicer gene, located in the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) that is important for mRNA transcript stability. We investigated whether rs3742330 is associated with the survival in 163 TCL patients. Significant association between Dicer rs3742330 and TCL survival were found. Patients carrying the GG genotype (n = 12) had a significantly increased overall survival (OS) compared with those carrying the GA and AA genotypes (n = 70 and n = 81, respectively; p = 0.031). Moreover, the significant association was maintained for patients with mature T type (n = 134; p = 0.026). In multivariate Cox-regression analysis, rs3742330 proved to be an independent predictor for OS, together with the commonly used International Prognostic Index (IPI) and BAFF rs9514828, another SNP we have previously reported to be associated with TCL survival, with hazard ratios (HRs) for patient death rate of 8.956 (95% CI, 1.210 to 66.318; p = 0.032) for the GA genotype and 10.145 (95% CI, 1.371 to 75.084; p = 0.023) for the AA genotype. Furthermore, we observed cumulative effects of Dicer rs3742330 and BAFF rs9514828 on TCL survival. Compared with patients carrying zero unfavorable genotype, those carrying one and two unfavorable genotypes had an increased risk of death with a HR of 7.104 (95% CI, 0.969–53.086; p = 0.054) and 14.932 (95% CI, 1.950–114.354; p = 0.009), respectively, with a significant dose-response trend (ptrend = 0.004). In conclusion, Dicer rs3742330 is associated with TCL survival, suggesting that genetic variation might play a role in predicting prognosis of TCL patients.
The chemotherapeutical treatment is very limited for malignant melanoma, a highly lethal disease occurs globally. Natural products derived from traditional Chinese medicine licorice are attractive in quest new treatments due to their anti-tumor activities. A new dietary flavonoid isoliquiritigenin (ISL) were thus investigated to indentify its anti-melanoma activities on mouse melanoma B16F0 cells in present study. Using biochemical and free radical biological experiments in vitro, we identified the pro-differentiated profiles of ISL and evaluated the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during B16F0 cell differentiation. The data showed a strong dose-response relationship between ISL exposure and the characteristics of B16F0 differentiation in terms of morphology changes and melanogenesis. The accumulated intercellular ROS during exposure are necessary to support ISL-induced differentiation, which was proven by additional redox modulators. It was confirmed further by the relative activities of enzymes and genes modulated melanogenesis in ISL-treatments with or without ROS modulators. The tumorigenicity of ISL-treated cells was limited significantly by using the colony formation assay in vitro and an animal model assay in vivo respectively. Our research demonstrated that isoliquiritigenin is a differentiation-inducing agent, and its mechanisms involve ROS accumulation facilitating melanogenesis.
One of a family of devastating lysosomal storage disorders, Krabbe disease is characterized by demyelination, psychosine accumulation, and inflammation. Affected infants rarely survive longer than two years. Using the twitcher mouse model of the disease, this study evaluated the potential of intrastriatal injection of adipose or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a treatment option. Neonatal pups were injected with MSCs at 3–4 days of age and subjected to a battery of behavioral tests beginning at 15 days. While MSC injection failed to increase lifespan of twitchers, improvements in rotarod performance and twitching severity were observed at 27–38 days of age using MSCs derived from bone marrow. This study tested several different tasks developed in adult mice for evaluation of disease progression in immature twitchers. Rotarod was both reliable and extremely sensitive. Automated gait analysis using the Treadscan program was also useful for early evaluation of differences prior to overt gait dysfunction. Finally, this study represents the first use of the Stone T-maze in immature mice. Validation of rotarod and automated gait analysis for detection of subtle differences in disease progression is important for early stage efforts to develop treatments for juvenile disorders.
Krabbe disease; twitcher mice; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; adipose-derived stem/stromal cells; gait analysis; motor function
Numerous studies have revealed that Rap1 (Ras-proximate-1 or Ras-related protein 1), a small GTPase protein, plays a crucial role in mediating cAMP signaling in isolated cardiac tissues and cell lines. However, the involvement of Rap1 in the cardiac development in vivo is largely unknown. By injecting anti-sense morpholino oligonucleotides to knock down Rap1a and Rap1b in zebrafish embryos, and in combination with time-lapsed imaging, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscope techniques, we seek to understand the role of Rap1 in cardiac development and functions. At an optimized low dose of mixed rap1a and rap1b morpholino oligonucleotides, the heart developed essentially normally until cardiac contraction occurred. Morphant hearts showed the myocardium defect phenotypes, most likely due to disrupted myofibril assembly and alignment. In vivo heart electrocardiography revealed prolonged P-R interval and QRS duration, consistent with an adherens junction defect and reduced Connexons in cardiac myocytes of morphants. We conclude that a proper level of Rap1 is crucial for heart morphogenesis and function, and suggest that Rap1 and/or their downstream factor genes are potential candidates for genetic screening for human heart diseases.
We report here the construction of engineered endonuclease database (EENdb) (http://eendb.zfgenetics.org/), a searchable database and knowledge base for customizable engineered endonucleases (EENs), including zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). EENs are artificial nucleases designed to target and cleave specific DNA sequences. EENs have been shown to be a very useful genetic tool for targeted genome modification and have shown great potentials in the applications in basic research, clinical therapies and agricultural utilities, and they are specifically essential for reverse genetics research in species where no other gene targeting techniques are available. EENdb contains over 700 records of all the reported ZFNs and TALENs and related information, such as their target sequences, the peptide components [zinc finger protein-/transcription activator-like effector (TALE)-binding domains, FokI variants and linker peptide/framework], the efficiency and specificity of their activities. The database also lists EEN engineering tools and resources as well as information about forms and types of EENs, EEN screening and construction methods, detection methods for targeting efficiency and many other utilities. The aim of EENdb is to represent a central hub for EEN information and an integrated solution for EEN engineering. These studies may help to extract in-depth properties and common rules regarding ZFN or TALEN efficiency through comparison of the known ZFNs or TALENs.
A growing body of evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in cancer diagnosis and therapy. MicroRNA-99a (miR-99a), a potential tumor suppressor, is downregulated in several human malignancies. The expression and function of miR-99a, however, have not been investigated in human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) so far. We therefore examined the expression of miR-99a in RCC cell lines and tissues, and assessed the impact of miR-99a on the tumorigenesis of RCC.
MiR-99a levels in 40 pairs of RCC and matched adjacent non-tumor tissues were assessed by real-time quantitative Reverse Transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). The RCC cell lines 786-O and OS-RC-2 were transfected with miR-99a mimics to restore the expression of miR-99a. The effects of miR-99a were then assessed by cell proliferation, cell cycle, transwell, and colony formation assay. A murine xenograft model of RCC was used to confirm the effect of miR-99a on tumorigenicity in vivo. Potential target genes were identified by western blotting and luciferase reporter assay.
We found that miR-99a was remarkably downregulated in RCC and low expression level of miR-99a was correlated with poor survival of RCC patients. Restoration of miR-99a dramatically suppressed RCC cells growth, clonability, migration and invasion as well as induced G1-phase cell cycle arrest in vitro. Moreover, intratumoral delivery of miR-99a could inhibit tumor growth in murine xenograft models of human RCC. In addition, we also fond that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was a direct target of miR-99a in RCC cells. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown of mTOR partially phenocopied the effect of miR-99a overexpression, suggesting that the tumor suppressive role of miR-99a may be mediated primarily through mTOR regulation.
Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that deregulation of miR-99a is involved in the etiology of RCC partially via direct targeting mTOR pathway, which suggests that miR-99a may offer an attractive new target for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention in RCC.
MicroRNA-99a; mTOR; Renal cell carcinoma
Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with drugs targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), e.g., gefitinib and erlotinib, will eventually fail because of the development of secondary mutations such as T790M in EGFR. Strategies to overcome this resistance are therefore an urgent need. In this study, we synthesized a dozen of novel gefitinib analogues and evaluated their effects on L858R/T790M-EGFR harboring NSCLC cells, and reported that one of these gefitinib mimetics, N-(2-bromo-5-(trifluoromethyl) phenyl)-6-methoxy-7-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propoxy)quinazolin-4-amine (hereafter, V1801), triggered apoptosis of the NSCLC cells and overcame gefitinib-resistance in mice inoculated with NCI-H1975 cells. Though V1801 only moderately inhibited EGFR kinase activity, it markedly induced the expression of the BH3-only protein Noxa, and Noxa silencing significantly reduced V1801-induced apoptosis of NCI-H1975 cells. It is showed that V1801 interfered with the expression of the transcription factor c-Myc and the extracellular signal regulated kinase (Erk) pathway. V1801 in combination with proteasome inhibitor bortezomib exerted enhanced cytotoxicity in NCI-H1975 cells possibly due to potentiated induction of Noxa expression. These data indicate that gefinitib analogues with weak EGFR inhibitory activity may overcome drug-resistance via activation of BH-3 only pro-apoptotic proteins, and V1801 may have therapeutic potentials for NSCLC.
Genomic deletions induced by imprecise excision of transposons have been used to disrupt gene functions in Drosophila. To determine the excision properties of Tol2, a popular transposon in zebrafish, we took advantage of two transgenic zebrafish lines Et(gata2a:EGFP)pku684 and Et(gata2a:EGFP)pku760, and mobilized the transposon by injecting transposase mRNA into homozygous transgenic embryos. Footprint analysis showed that the Tol2 transposons were excised in either a precise or an imprecise manner. Furthermore, we identified 1093-bp and 1253-bp genomic deletions in Et(gata2a:EGFP)pku684 founder embryos flanking the 5′ end of the original Tol2 insertion site, and a 1340-bp deletion in the Et(gata2a:EGFP)pku760 founder embryos flanking the 3′ end of the insertion site. The mosaic Et(gata2a:EGFP)pku684 embryos were raised to adulthood and screened for germline transmission of Tol2 excision in their F1 progeny. On average, ∼42% of the F1 embryos displayed loss or altered EGFP patterns, demonstrating that this transposon could be efficiently excised from the zebrafish genome in the germline. Furthermore, from 59 founders, we identified one that transmitted the 1093-bp genomic deletion to its offspring. These results suggest that imprecise Tol2 transposon excision can be used as an alternative strategy to achieve gene targeting in zebrafish.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was recently identified as a factor produced by multiple myeloma (MM) cells, which may contribute to bone resorption and disease progression in MM, though the molecular mechanism of this process is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of BDNF on bone disease and growth of MM cells both in vitro and in vivo. Co- and triple-culture systems were implemented. The in vitro results demonstrate that BDNF augmented receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) expression in human bone marrow stromal cells, thus contributing to osteoclast formation. To further clarify the effect of BDNF on myeloma bone disease in vivo, ARH-77 cells were stably transfected with an antisense construct to BDNF (AS-ARH) or empty vector (EV-ARH) to test their capacity to induce MM bone disease in SCID–rab mice. Mice treated with AS-ARH cells were preserved, exhibited no radiologically identifiable lytic lesions and, unlike the controls treated with EV-ARH cells, lived longer and showed reduced tumor burden. Consistently, bones harboring AS-ARH cells showed marked reductions of RANKL expression and osteoclast density compared to the controls harboring EV-ARH cells. These results provide further support for the potential osteoclastogenic effects of BDNF, which may mediate stromal–MM cell interactions to upregulate RANKL secretion, in myeloma bone diseases.