Glutamine (Gln) and glucose (Glc) represent two important nutrients for proliferating cells, consistent with the observations that oncogenic processes are associated with enhanced glycolysis and glutaminolysis. Gln depletion and Glc depletion have been shown to trigger growth arrest and eventually cell death. Solid tumors often outgrow the blood supply, resulting in ischemia, which is associated with hypoxia and nutrient insufficiency. Whereas oxygen-sensing and adaptive mechanisms to hypoxia have been well-studied, how cells directly sense and respond to Gln and Glc insufficiency remains unclear. Using mRNA profiling techniques, we compared the gene expression profiles of acute Gln-depleted cells, Glc-depleted cells and cells adapted to Gln depletion. Here we report the global changes of the gene expression in those cells cultured under the defined nutrient conditions. Analysis of mRNA profiling data revealed that Gln and Glc depletion triggered dramatic gene expression reprogramming. Either Gln or Glc deletion leads to changes of the expression of cell cycle genes, but these conditions have distinctive effects on transcription regulators and gene expression profiles. Moreover, Gln and Glc depletion triggered distinguishable ER-stress responses. The gene expression patterns support that Gln and Glc have distinctive metabolic roles in supporting cell survival and proliferation, and cells use different mechanisms to sense and respond to Gln and Glc insufficiency. Our mRNA profiling database provides a resource for further investigating the nutrient-sensing mechanisms and potential effects of Glc and Gln abundance on the biological behaviors of cells.
ATF4; ATF6; ER stress; XBP1; glucose depletion; glutamine depletion; metabolism
Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) are predisposed to colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). However, the transcriptional mechanism of the transformation from UC to CAC is not fully understood.
Firstly, we showed that CAC and non-UC-associated CRC were very similar in gene expression. Secondly, based on multiple datasets for UC and CRC, we extracted differentially expressed (DE) genes in UC and CRC versus normal controls, respectively. Thirdly, we compared the dysregulation directions (upregulation or downregulation) between DE genes of UC and CRC in CRC-related functions overrepresented with the DE genes of CRC, and proposed a regulatory model to explain the CRC-like dysregulation of genes in UC. A case study for “positive regulation of immune system process” was done to reveal the functional implication of DE genes with reversal dysregulations in these two diseases.
In all the 44 detected CRC-related functions except for “viral transcription”, the dysregulation directions of DE genes in UC were significantly similar with their counterparts in CRC, and such CRC-like dysregulation in UC could be regulated by transcription factors affected by pro-inflammatory stimuli for colitis. A small portion of genes in each CRC-related function were dysregulated in opposite directions in the two diseases. The case study showed that genes related to humoral immunity specifically expressed in B cells tended to be upregulated in UC but downregulated in CRC.
The CRC-like dysregulation of genes in CRC-related functions in UC patients provides hints for understanding the transcriptional basis for UC to CRC transition. A small portion of genes with distinct dysregulation directions in each of the CRC-related functions in the two diseases implicate that their reversal dysregulations might be critical for UC to CRC transition. The cases study indicates that the humoral immune response might be inhibited during the transformation from UC to CRC.
The aberrantly increased lipogenesis is a universal metabolic feature of proliferating tumor cells. Although most normal cells acquire the bulk of their fatty acids from circulation, tumor cells synthesize more than 90% of required lipids de novo. The sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1), encoded by SREBF1 gene, is a master regulator of lipogenic gene expression. SREBP1 and its target genes are overexpressed in a variety of cancers; however, the role of SREBP1 in endometrial cancer is largely unknown. We have screened a cohort of endometrial cancer (EC) specimen for their lipogenic gene expression and observed a significant increase of SREBP1 target gene expression in cancer cells compared with normal endometrium. By using immunohistochemical staining, we confirmed SREBP1 protein overexpression and demonstrated increased nuclear distribution of SREBP1 in EC. In addition, we found that knockdown of SREBP1 expression in EC cells suppressed cell growth, reduced colonigenic capacity and slowed tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, we observed that knockdown of SREBP1 induced significant cell death in cultured EC cells. Taken together, our results show that SREBP1 is essential for EC cell growth both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that SREBP1 activity may be a novel therapeutic target for endometrial cancers.
SREBP1; cell death; cell growth; endometrial cancer; lipogenesis
Breast cancer is a leading form of cancer in the world. The Drosophila Dac gene was cloned as an inhibitor of the hyperactive epidermal growth factor (EGFR), ellipse. Herein, endogenous DACH1 co-localized with p53 in a nuclear, extranucleolar compartment and bound to p53 in human breast cancer cell lines, p53 and DACH1 bound common genes in Chip-Seq. Full inhibition of breast cancer contact-independent growth by DACH1 required p53. The p53 breast cancer mutants R248Q and R273H, evaded DACH1 binding. DACH1 phosphorylation at serine residue (S439) inhibited p53 binding and phosphorylation at p53 amino-terminal sites (S15, S20) enhanced DACH1 binding. DACH1 binding to p53 was inhibited by NAD-dependent deacetylation via DACH1 K628. DACH1 repressed p21CIP1 and induced RAD51, an association found in basal breast cancer. DACH1 inhibits breast cancer cellular growth in an NAD and p53-dependent manner through direct protein-protein association.
p53; breast cancer; cell fate; stem cells; dach
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a critical regulator of tumor progression in a variety of cancers where it has been shown to act as either a tumor suppressor or tumor promoter. In glioblastoma multiforme, it has been previously demonstrated to function as a putative tumor suppressor. Our studies here, using the human glioblastoma-derived cell line U-87MG, further support the role of Cav-1 as a negative regulator of tumor growth. Using a lentiviral transduction approach, we were able to stably overexpress Cav-1 in U-87MG cells. Gene expression microarray analyses demonstrated significant enrichment in gene signatures corresponding to downregulation of MAPK, PI3K/AKT and mTOR signaling, as well as activation of apoptotic pathways in Cav-1-overexpressing U-87MG cells. These same gene signatures were later confirmed at the protein level in vitro. To explore the ability of Cav-1 to regulate tumor growth in vivo, we further show that Cav-1-overexpressing U-87MG cells display reduced tumorigenicity in an ectopic xenograft mouse model, with marked hypoactivation of MAPK and PI3K/mTOR pathways. Finally, we demonstrate that Cav-1 overexpression confers sensitivity to the most commonly used chemotherapy for glioblastoma, temozolomide. In conclusion, Cav-1 negatively regulates key cell growth and survival pathways and may be an effective biomarker for predicting response to chemotherapy in glioblastoma.
Caveolin-1; glioma; brain cancer; tumor progression; tumor suppressor; microarray; mouse model; chemotherapy; temozolomide
Naked DNA vaccines can be manufactured simply and are stable at ambient temperature, but require improved delivery technologies to boost immunogenicity. Here we explore in vivo electroporation for multivalent codon-optimized human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 and L2 DNA vaccination.
Balb/c mice were vaccinated three times at two week intervals with a fusion protein comprising L2 residues ∼11−88 of 8 different HPV types (11−88×8) or its DNA expression vector, DNA constructs expressing L1 only or L1+L2 of a single HPV type, or as a mixture of several high-risk HPV types and administered utilizing electroporation, i.m. injection or gene gun. Serum was collected two weeks and 3 months after the last vaccination. Sera from immunized mice were tested for in-vitro neutralization titer, and protective efficacy upon passive transfer to naive mice and vaginal HPV challenge. Heterotypic interactions between L1 proteins of HPV6, HPV16 and HPV18 in 293TT cells were tested by co-precipitation using type-specific monoclonal antibodies.
Electroporation with L2 multimer DNA did not elicit detectable antibody titer, whereas DNA expressing L1 or L1+L2 induced L1-specific, type-restricted neutralizing antibodies, with titers approaching those induced by Gardasil. Co-expression of L2 neither augmented L1-specific responses nor induced L2-specific antibodies. Delivery of HPV L1 DNA via in vivo electroporation produces a stronger antibody response compared to i.m. injection or i.d. ballistic delivery via gene gun. Reduced neutralizing antibody titers were observed for certain types when vaccinating with a mixture of L1 (or L1+L2) vectors of multiple HPV types, likely resulting from heterotypic L1 interactions observed in co-immunoprecipitation studies. High titers were restored by vaccinating with individual constructs at different sites, or partially recovered by co-expression of L2, such that durable protective antibody titers were achieved for each type.
Multivalent vaccination via in vivo electroporation requires spatial separation of individual type L1 DNA vaccines.
The ErbB2 (Her2/neu epidermal growth receptor family) oncogene is overexpressed in 30% to 40% of human breast cancers. Cyclin D1 is the regulatory subunit of the holoenzyme that phosphorylates and inactivates the retinoblastoma (pRb) tumor suppressor and is an essential downstream target of ErbB2-induced tumor growth. Herein, we demonstrate that ErbB2 induces the activity of the Notch signaling pathway. ErbB2 induction of DNA synthesis, contact-independent growth, and mammosphere induction required Notch1. ErbB2-induced cyclin D1 and cyclin D1 expression was sufficient to induce Notch1 activity, and conversely, genetic deletion of Notch1 in mammary epithelial cells using floxed Notch (Notchfl/fl ) mice demonstrated that cyclin D1 is induced by Notch1. Genetic deletion of cyclin D1 or small interfering RNA (siRNA) to cyclin D1-reduced Notch1 activity and reintroduction of cyclin D1 into cyclin D1-deficient cells restored Notch1 activity through the inhibition of Numb, an endogenous inhibitor of Notch1 activity. Thus, cyclin D1 functions downstream as a genetic target of Notch1, amplifies Notch1 activity by repressing Numb, and identifies a novel pathway by which ErbB2 induces Notch1 activity via the induction of cyclin D1.
cancer biology; oncogenes; signal transduction
It is a common practice that researchers collect a set of samples without discriminating the mutants and their wild-type counterparts to characterize the transcriptional, methylational and/or copy number changes of pre-defined candidate oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes (TSGs), although some examples are known that carcinogenic mutants may express and function completely differently from their wild-type counterparts.
Based on various high-throughput data without mutation information for typical cancer types, we surprisingly found that about half of known oncogenes (or TSGs) pre-defined by mutations were down-regulated (or up-regulated) and hypermethylated (or hypomethylated) in their corresponding cancer types. Therefore, the overall expression and/or methylation changes of genes detected in a set of samples without discriminating the mutants and their wild-type counterparts cannot indicate the carcinogenic roles of the mutants. We also found that about half of known oncogenes were located in deletion regions, whereas all known TSGs were located in deletion regions. Thus, both oncogenes and TSGs may be located in deletion regions and thus deletions can indicate TSGs only if the gene is found to be deleted as a whole. In contrast, amplifications are restricted to oncogenes and thus can be used to support either the dysregulated wild-type gene or its mutant as an oncogene.
We demonstrated that using the transcriptional, methylational and/or copy number changes without mutation information to characterize oncogenes and TSGs, which is a currently still widely adopted strategy, will most often produce misleading results. Our analysis highlights the importance of evaluating expression, methylation and copy number changes together with gene mutation data in the same set of samples in order to determine the distinct roles of the mutants and their wild-type counterparts.
Genetic imprinting, by which the expression of a gene depends on the parental origin of its alleles, may be subjected to reprogramming through each generation. Currently, such reprogramming is limited to qualitative description only, lacking more precise quantitative estimation for its extent, pattern and mechanism. Here, we present a computational framework for analyzing the magnitude of genetic imprinting and its transgenerational inheritance mode. This quantitative model is based on the breeding scheme of reciprocal backcrosses between reciprocal F1 hybrids and original inbred parents, in which the transmission of genetic imprinting across generations can be tracked. We define a series of quantitative genetic parameters that describe the extent and transmission mode of genetic imprinting and further estimate and test these parameters within a genetic mapping framework using a new powerful computational algorithm. The model and algorithm described will enable geneticists to identify and map imprinted quantitative trait loci and dictate a comprehensive atlas of developmental and epigenetic mechanisms related to genetic imprinting. We illustrate the new discovery of the role of genetic imprinting in regulating hyperoxic acute lung injury survival time using a mouse reciprocal backcross design.
Here, we show that tamoxifen resistance is induced by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Coculture of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) MCF7 cells with fibroblasts induces tamoxifen and fulvestrant resistance with 4.4 and 2.5-fold reductions, respectively, in apoptosis compared with homotypic MCF7 cell cultures. Treatment of MCF7 cells cultured alone with high-energy mitochondrial “fuels” (L-lactate or ketone bodies) is sufficient to confer tamoxifen resistance, mimicking the effects of coculture with fibroblasts. To further demonstrate that epithelial cancer cell mitochondrial activity is the origin of tamoxifen resistance, we employed complementary pharmacological and genetic approaches. First, we studied the effects of two mitochondrial “poisons,” namely metformin and arsenic trioxide (ATO), on fibroblast-induced tamoxifen resistance. We show here that treatment with metformin or ATO overcomes fibroblast-induced tamoxifen resistance in MCF7 cells. Treatment with the combination of tamoxifen plus metformin or ATO leads to increases in glucose uptake in MCF7 cells, reflecting metabolic uncoupling between epithelial cancer cells and fibroblasts. In coculture, tamoxifen induces the upregulation of TIGAR (TP53-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator), a p53 regulated gene that simultaneously inhibits glycolysis, autophagy and apoptosis and reduces ROS generation, thereby promoting oxidative mitochondrial metabolism. To genetically mimic the effects of coculture, we next recombinantly overexpressed TIGAR in MCF7 cells. Remarkably, TIGAR overexpression protects epithelial cancer cells from tamoxifen-induced apoptosis, providing genetic evidence that increased mitochondrial function confers tamoxifen resistance. Finally, CAFs also protect MCF7 cells against apoptosis induced by other anticancer agents, such as the topoisomerase inhibitor doxorubicin (adriamycin) and the PARP-1 inhibitor ABT-888. These results suggest that the tumor microenvironment may be a general mechanism for conferring drug resistance. In summary, we have discovered that mitochondrial activity in epithelial cancer cells drives tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer and that mitochondrial “poisons” are able to re-sensitize these cancer cells to tamoxifen. In this context, TIGAR may be a key “druggable” target for preventing drug resistance in cancer cells, as it protects cancer cells against the onset of stress-induced mitochondrial dys-function and aerobic glycolysis.
drug resistance; tamoxifen; metformin; tumor stroma; microenvironment; Warburg Effect; aerobic glycolysis; mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; TIGAR; glucose uptake; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS); cancer associated fibroblasts
Pattern mixture modeling is a popular approach for handling incomplete longitudinal data. Such models are not identifiable by construction. Identifying restrictions are one approach to mixture model identification (Little, 1995; Little and Wang, 1996; Thijs et al., 2002; Kenward et al., 2003; Daniels and Hogan, 2008) and are a natural starting point for missing not at random sensitivity analysis (Thijs et al., 2002; Daniels and Hogan, 2008). However, when the pattern specific models are multivariate normal, identifying restrictions corresponding to missing at random may not exist. Furthermore, identification strategies can be problematic in models with covariates (e.g. baseline covariates with time-invariant coefficients). In this paper, we explore conditions necessary for identifying restrictions that result in missing at random (MAR) to exist under a multivariate normality assumption and strategies for identifying sensitivity parameters for sensitivity analysis or for a fully Bayesian analysis with informative priors. In addition, we propose alternative modeling and sensitivity analysis strategies under a less restrictive assumption for the distribution of the observed response data. We adopt the deviance information criterion for model comparison and perform a simulation study to evaluate the performances of the different modeling approaches. We also apply the methods to a longitudinal clinical trial. Problems caused by baseline covariates with time-invariant coefficients are investigated and an alternative identifying restriction based on residuals is proposed as a solution.
Missing at random; Non-future dependence; Deviance information criterion
Previously, we proposed that cancer cells behave as metabolic parasites, as they use targeted oxidative stress as a “weapon” to extract recycled nutrients from adjacent stromal cells. Oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts triggers autophagy and mitophagy, resulting in compartmentalized cellular catabolism, loss of mitochondrial function, and the onset of aerobic glycolysis, in the tumor stroma. As such, cancer-associated fibroblasts produce high-energy nutrients (such as lactate and ketones) that fuel mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism in cancer cells. We have termed this new energy-transfer mechanism the “reverse Warburg effect.” To further test the validity of this hypothesis, here we used an in vitro MCF7-fibroblast co-culture system and quantitatively measured a variety of metabolic parameters by FACS analysis (analogous to laser-capture micro-dissection). Mitochondrial activity, glucose uptake and ROS production were measured with highly-sensitive fluorescent probes (MitoTracker, NBD-2-deoxy-glucose and DCF-DA). Interestingly, using this approach, we directly show that cancer cells initially secrete hydrogen peroxide that then triggers oxidative stress in neighboring fibroblasts. Thus, oxidative stress is contagious (spreads like a virus) and is propagated laterally and vectorially from cancer cells to adjacent fibroblasts. Experimentally, we show that oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts quantitatively reduces mitochondrial activity and increases glucose uptake, as the fibroblasts become more dependent on aerobic glycolysis. Conversely, co-cultured cancer cells show significant increases in mitochondrial activity and corresponding reductions in both glucose uptake and GLUT1 expression. Pre-treatment of co-cultures with extracellular catalase (an anti-oxidant enzyme that detoxifies hydrogen peroxide) blocks the onset of oxidative stress and potently induces the death of cancer cells, likely via starvation. Given that cancer-associated fibroblasts show the largest increases in glucose uptake, we suggest that PET imaging of human tumors, with Fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (F-2-DG), may be specifically detecting the tumor stroma, rather than epithelial cancer cells.
tumor stroma; microenvironment; hydrogen peroxide; aerobic glycolysis; mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; glucose uptake; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS); cancer associated fibroblasts; PET imaging; the field effect; caveolin-1
Previously, we identified a form of epithelial-stromal metabolic coupling, in which cancer cells induce aerobic glycolysis in adjacent stromal fibroblasts, via oxidative stress, driving autophagy and mitophagy. In turn, these cancer-associated fibroblasts provide recycled nutrients to epithelial cancer cells, “fueling” oxidative mitochondrial metabolism and anabolic growth. An additional consequence is that these glycolytic fibroblasts protect cancer cells against apoptosis, by providing a steady nutrient stream to mitochondria in cancer cells. Here, we investigated whether these interactions might be the basis of tamoxifen-resistance in ER(+) breast cancer cells. We show that MCF7 cells alone are Tamoxifen-sensitive, but become resistant when co-cultured with hTERT-immortalized human fibroblasts. Next, we searched for a drug combination (Tamoxifen + Dasatinib) that could over-come fibroblast-induced Tamoxifen-resistance. Importantly, we show that this drug combination acutely induces the Warburg effect (aerobic glycolysis) in MCF7 cancer cells, abruptly cutting off their ability to use their fuel supply, effectively killing these cancer cells. Thus, we believe that the Warburg effect in tumor cells is not the “root cause” of cancer, but rather it may provide the necessary clues to preventing chemoresistance in cancer cells. Finally, we observed that this drug combination (Tamoxifen + Dasatinib) also had a generalized anti-oxidant effect, on both co-cultured fibroblasts and cancer cells alike, potentially reducing tumor-stroma co-evolution. Our results are consistent with the idea that chemo-resistance may be both a metabolic and stromal phenomenon that can be overcome by targeting mitochondrial function in epithelial cancer cells. Thus, simultaneously targeting both (1) the tumor stroma and (2) the epithelial cancer cells, with combination therapies, may be the most successful approach to anti-cancer therapy. This general strategy of combination therapy for overcoming drug resistance could be applicable to many different types of cancer.
drug resistance; tamoxifen; dasatinib; tumor stroma; microenvironment; Warburg effect; aerobic glycolysis; mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; glucose uptake; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS); cancer-associated fibroblasts
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a condition characterized by acute onset of severe hypoxemia and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. ALI patients typically require mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit. Low tidal volume ventilation (LTVV), a time-varying dynamic treatment regime, has been recommended as an effective ventilation strategy. This recommendation was based on the results of the ARMA study, a randomized clinical trial designed to compare low vs. high tidal volume strategies (The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network, 2000) . After publication of the trial, some critics focused on the high non-adherence rates in the LTVV arm suggesting that non-adherence occurred because treating physicians felt that deviating from the prescribed regime would improve patient outcomes. In this paper, we seek to address this controversy by estimating the survival distribution in the counterfactual setting where all patients assigned to LTVV followed the regime. Inference is based on a fully Bayesian implementation of Robins’ (1986) G-computation formula. In addition to re-analyzing data from the ARMA trial, we also apply our methodology to data from a subsequent trial (ALVEOLI), which implemented the LTVV regime in both of its study arms and also suffered from non-adherence.
Bayesian inference; Causal inference; Dynamic treatment regime; G-computation formula
Altered lipid metabolism underlies several major human diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, lipid metabolism pathophysiology remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Insulin is the primary stimulator of hepatic lipogenesis through activation of the SREBP-1c transcription factor. Here we identified cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8) and its regulatory partner cyclin C (CycC) as negative regulators of the lipogenic pathway in Drosophila, mammalian hepatocytes, and mouse liver. The inhibitory effect of CDK8 and CycC on de novo lipogenesis was mediated through CDK8 phosphorylation of nuclear SREBP-1c at a conserved threonine residue. Phosphorylation by CDK8 enhanced SREBP-1c ubiquitination and protein degradation. Importantly, consistent with the physiologic regulation of lipid biosynthesis, CDK8 and CycC proteins were rapidly downregulated by feeding and insulin, resulting in decreased SREBP-1c phosphorylation. Moreover, overexpression of CycC efficiently suppressed insulin and feeding–induced lipogenic gene expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CDK8 and CycC function as evolutionarily conserved components of the insulin signaling pathway in regulating lipid homeostasis.
Chromosomal instability (CIN) in tumors is characterized by chromosomal abnormalities and an altered gene expression signature; however, the mechanism of CIN is poorly understood. CCND1 (which encodes cyclin D1) is overexpressed in human malignancies and has been shown to play a direct role in transcriptional regulation. Here, we used genome-wide ChIP sequencing and found that the DNA-bound form of cyclin D1 occupied the regulatory region of genes governing chromosomal integrity and mitochondrial biogenesis. Adding cyclin D1 back to Ccnd1–/– mouse embryonic fibroblasts resulted in CIN gene regulatory region occupancy by the DNA-bound form of cyclin D1 and induction of CIN gene expression. Furthermore, increased chromosomal aberrations, aneuploidy, and centrosome abnormalities were observed in the cyclin D1–rescued cells by spectral karyotyping and immunofluorescence. To assess cyclin D1 effects in vivo, we generated transgenic mice with acute and continuous mammary gland–targeted cyclin D1 expression. These transgenic mice presented with increased tumor prevalence and signature CIN gene profiles. Additionally, interrogation of gene expression from 2,254 human breast tumors revealed that cyclin D1 expression correlated with CIN in luminal B breast cancer. These data suggest that cyclin D1 contributes to CIN and tumorigenesis by directly regulating a transcriptional program that governs chromosomal stability.
The Sirtuin family of proteins (SIRTs) encode a group of evolutionarily conserved, NAD-dependent histone deacetylases, involved in many biological pathways. SIRT1, the human homolog of the yeast Silent Information Regulator 2 (Sir2) gene, deacetylates histones, p300, p53, and the androgen receptor. Autophagy is required for the degradation of damaged organelles and long-lived proteins, as well as for the development of glands such as the breast and prostate. Herein, homozygous deletion of the Sirt1 gene in mice resulted in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) associated with reduced autophagy. Genome-wide gene expression analysis of Sirt1-/- prostates demonstrated that endogenous Sirt1 repressed androgen responsive gene expression and induced autophagy in the prostate. Sirt1 induction of autophagy occurred at the level of autophagosome maturation and completion in cultured prostate cancer cells. These studies provide novel evidence for a checkpoint function of Sirt1 in the development of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and further highlight a role for SIRT1 as a tumor suppressor in the prostate.
SIRT1; Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN); Prostate; Autophagy; Tumor Suppressor
Acetylation is an essential post-translational modification featuring an acetyl group that is covalently conjugated to a protein substrate. Histone acetylation was first proposed nearly half a century ago by Dr. Vincent Allfrey. Subsequent studies have shown that the acetylated core histones are often associated with transcriptionally active chromatin. Acetylation at lysine residues of histone tails neutralizes the positive charge, which decreases their binding ability to DNA and increases the accessibility of transcription factors and coactivators to the chromatin template. In addition to histones, a number of non-histone substrates are acetylated. Acetylation of non-histone proteins governs biological processes, such as cellular proliferation and survival, transcriptional activity, and intracellular trafficking. We demonstrated that acetylation of transcription factors can regulate cellular growth. Furthermore, we showed that nuclear receptors (NRs) are acetylated at a phylogenetically conserved motif. Since our initial observations with the estrogen and androgen receptors, more than a dozen NRs have been shown to function as substrates for acetyltransferases with diverse functional consequences. This review focuses on the acetylation of NRs and the effect of acetylation on NR function. We discuss the potential role of acetylation in disease initiation and progression with an emphasis on tumorigenesis.
To explore different allometric equations for scaling clearance across the human life-span using propofol as a model drug.
Data from seven previously published propofol studies ((pre)term neonates, infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and adults) were analysed using NONMEM VI. To scale clearance, a bodyweight-based exponential equation with four different structures for the exponent was used: (I) 3/4 allometric scaling model; (II) mixture model; (III) bodyweight-cut-point separated model; (IV) bodyweight-dependent exponent model.
Model I adequately described clearance in adults and older children, but overestimated clearance of neonates and underestimated clearance of infants. Use of two different exponents in Model II and Model III showed significantly improved performance, but yielded ambiguities on the boundaries of the two subpopulations. This discontinuity was overcome in Model IV, in which the exponent changed sigmoidally from 1.35 at a hypothetical bodyweight of 0 kg to a value of 0.56 from 10 kg onwards, thereby describing clearance of all individuals best.
A model was developed for scaling clearance over the entire human life-span with a single continuous equation, in which the exponent of the bodyweight-based exponential equation varied with bodyweight.
allometric; clearance; life-span; pharmacokinetics; propofol
The c-myc is a proto-oncogene that manifests aberrant expression at high frequencies in most types of human cancer. C-myc gene amplifications are often observed in various cancers as well. Ample studies have also proved that c-myc has a potent oncogenicity, which can be further enhanced by collaborations with other oncogenes such as Bcl-2 and activated Ras. Studies on the collaborations of c-myc with Ras or other genes in oncogenicity have established several basic concepts and have disclosed their underlying mechanisms of tumor biology, including “immortalization” and “transformation”. In many cases, these collaborations may converge at the cyclin D1-CDK4 complex. In the meantime, however, many results from studies on the c-myc, Ras and cyclin D1-CDK4 also challenge these basic concepts of tumor biology and suggest to us that the immortalized status of cells should be emphasized. Stricter criteria and definitions for a malignantly transformed status and a benign status of cells in culture also need to be established to facilitate our study of the mechanisms for tumor formation and to better link up in vitro data with animal results and eventually with human cancer pathology.
c-Myc; Cyclin D1; transformation; immortalization; oncogene
Cyclin D1 overexpression is a common feature of many human malignancies. Genomic deletion analysis has demonstrated a key role for cyclin D1 in cellular proliferation, angiogenesis and cellular migration. To investigate the mechanisms contributing to cyclin D1 functions, we purified cyclin D1a-associated complexes by affinity chromatography and identified the PACSIN 2 (protein kinase C and casein kinase substrate in neurons 2) protein by mass spectrometry. The PACSIN 2, but not the related PACSIN 1 and 3, directly bound wild-type cyclin D1 (cyclin D1a) at the carboxyl terminus and failed to bind cyclin D1b, the alternative splicing variant of cyclin D1. PACSIN 2 knockdown induced cellular migration and reduced cell spreading in LNCaP cells expressing cyclin D1a. In cyclin D1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), cyclin D1a, but not cyclin D1b, reduced the cell spreading to a polarized morphology. siPACSIN 2 had no effect on cellular migration of cyclin D1−/− MEFs. Cyclin D1a restored the migratory ability of cyclin D1−/− MEFs, which was further enhanced by knocking down PACSIN 2 with siRNA. The cyclin D1-associated protein, PACSIN 2, regulates cell spreading and migration, which are dependent on cyclin D1 expression.
PACSIN 2; cyclin D1; polymorphism; cellular migration; cell spreading; cancer
The Dachshund (dac) gene, initially cloned as a dominant inhibitor of the Drosophila hyperactive EGFR mutant ellipse, encodes a key component of the cell fate determination pathway involved in Drosophila eye development. Analysis of more than 2,200 breast cancer samples showed improved survival by some 40 months in patients whose tumors expressed DACH1. Herein, DACH1 and estrogen receptor-α (ERα) expressions were inversely correlated in human breast cancer. DACH1 bound and inhibited ERα function. Nuclear DACH1 expression inhibited estradiol (E2)-induced DNA synthesis and cellular proliferation. DACH1 bound ERα in immunoprecipitation-Western blotting, associated with ERα in chromatin immunoprecipitation, and inhibited ERα transcriptional activity, requiring a conserved DS domain. Proteomic analysis identified proline, glutamic acid, and leucine rich protein 1 (PELP1) as a DACH1-binding protein. The DACH1 COOH terminus was required for binding to PELP1. DACH1 inhibited induction of ERα signaling. E2 recruited ERα and disengaged corepressors from DACH1 at an endogenous ER response element, allowing PELP1 to serve as an ERα coactivator. DACH1 expression, which is lost in poor prognosis human breast cancer, functions as an endogenous inhibitor of ERα function.
The DNA damage response (DDR) activates downstream pathways including cell cycle checkpoints. The cyclin D1 gene is overexpressed or amplified in many human cancers and is required for gastrointestinal, breast, and skin tumors in murine models. A common polymorphism in the human cyclin D1 gene is alternatively spliced, resulting in cyclin D1a and D1b proteins that differ in their carboxyl terminus. Cyclin D1 overexpression enhances DNA-damage induced apoptosis. The role of cyclin D1 and the alternative splice form in regulating the DDR is not well understood. Herein cyclin D1a overexpression enhanced the DDR as characterized by induction of γH2AX phosphorylation, the assembly of DNA repair foci, and specific recruitment of DNA repair factors to chromatin, and G2/M arrest. Cyclin D1 deletion in fibroblasts or siRNA mediated reduction of endogenous cyclin D1 in colon cancer cells reduced the 5-FU-mediated DDR. Mechanistic studies demonstrated cyclin D1a, like DNA repair factors, elicited the DDR when stably associated with chromatin.