Skin cancer is the most common cancer throughout the world. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the acquisition of cancer stem cells (CSCs)-like properties emerge as critical steps in the metastasis of human skin cancers. Caffeic acid (CaA) exerts anticarcinogenic effects. However, the effects of CaA on the migratory capability and on the CSCs-like properties of skin cancer cells, and the molecular mechanisms underlying it are not fully understood.
Malignant HaCaT cells were treated by CaA. Transwell assay was performed to determine that CaA attenuated the migratory capability; Spheroid formation assay was performed to confirm that CaA decreased the CSCs-like phenotype; Treated malignant HaCaT cells were molecularly characterized by RT-PCR, Western blots, Southwestern blot, and immunoprecipitation.
In CaA-treated malignant human keratinocyte (malignant HaCaT cells), inhibition of the migratory capability and CSCs-like phenotype were observed. CaA up-regulated the phosphorylation of p38, and down-regulated the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)/snail signal pathway. Indeed, p38 decreased the DNA-binding activity of NF-κB to the promoter of snail gene, which resulted in the transcriptional inactivation of snail. Blockage of p38 attenuated the CaA-induced inhibition of migratory capability and CSCs-like phenotype in malignant HaCaT cells.
CaA attenuates the migratory capability and CSCs-like Properties of malignant human keratinocyte, in which, p38-mediated down-regulation of NF-κB/snail signal pathway is involved.
Glycosyltransferases (GTs) catalyze the reaction between an activated sugar donor and an acceptor to form a new glycosidic linkage. GTs are responsible for the assembly of oligosaccharides in vivo and are also important for the in vitro synthesis of these biomolecules. However, the functional identification and characterization of new GTs are both difficult and tedious. This paper describes an approach that combines arrays of reactions on an immobilized array of acceptors with analysis by mass spectrometry to screen putative GTs. A total of 14,280 combinations of GT, acceptor and donor in four buffer conditions were screened and led to the identification and characterization of four new GTs. This work is significant because it provides a label-free method for the rapid functional annotation of putative enzymes.
The selective capture of target peptides poses a great challenge to modern chemists and biologists, especially when enriching them from proteome samples possessing extremes in concentration dynamic range and sequence diversity. While approaches based on traditional techniques such as biotin-avidin pairing offer versatile tools to design strategies for selective enrichment, problems are still encountered due to sample loss or poor selectivity of enrichment. Here we show that the recently introduced fluorous chemistry approach has attractive properties as an alternative method for selective enrichment. Through appending a perfluorine group to the target peptide, it is possible to dramatically increase the peptide's hydrophobicity and thus enable facile separation of labeled from non-labeled peptides. Use of reversed-phase chromatography allowed for improved peptide recovery in comparison with results obtained using the formerly reported fluorous bonded phase methods. Furthermore, this approach also allowed for on-line separation and identification of both labeled and unlabeled peptides in a single experiment. The net result is an increase in the confidence of protein identification by tandem mass spectrometry (MS2) as all peptides and subsequent information are retained. Successful off-line and on-line enrichment of cysteine-containing peptides was obtained, and high quality MS2 spectra were obtained by tandem mass spectrometry due to the stability of the tag, allowing for facile identification via standard database searching. We believe that this strategy holds great promise for selective enrichment and identification of low abundance target proteins or peptides.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has a poor prognosis due to late diagnosis and a lack of effective therapeutic options. Thus, it is important to better understand its molecular mechanisms and to develop more effective treatments for the disease. The ternary complex factor Net, which exerts its strong inhibitory function on transcription of proto-oncogene gene c-fos by forming ternary complexes with a second transcription factor, has been suspected of being involved in pancreatic cancer and other tumors biology. In this study, we found that the majority of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissues and cell lines had weak or no expression of Net, whereas significantly high level of Net expression occurred in paired adjacent normal tissues we studied. Furthermore, using in vitro and in vivo model systems, we found that overexpression of Net inhibited cell growth and survival and induced cell apoptosis in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell PL45; the mechanisms by which Net inhibited the cell cycle progression were mainly through P21-Cyclin D1/CDK4 Pathway. Our data thus suggested that Net might play an important role in pancreatic carcinogenesis, possibly by acting as a tumor suppressor gene.
The androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to systematically suppress/reduce androgens binding to the androgen receptor (AR) has been the standard therapy for prostate cancer (PCa); yet, most of ADT eventually fails leading to the recurrence of castration resistant PCa. Here, we found that the PCa patients who received ADT had increased PCa stem/progenitor cell population. The addition of the anti-androgen, Casodex®, or AR-siRNA in various PCa cells led to increased stem/progenitor cells, whereas, in contrast, the addition of functional AR led to decreased stem/progenitor cell population but increased non-stem/progenitor cell population, suggesting that AR functions differentially in PCa stem/progenitor vs. non-stem/progenitor cells. Therefore, the current ADT might result in an undesired expansion of PCa stem/progenitor cell population, which explains why this therapy fails. Using various human PCa cell lines and three different mouse models, we concluded that targeting PCa non-stem/progenitor cells with AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9® and targeting PCa stem/progenitor cells with 5-azathioprine and γ-tocotrienol resulted in a significant suppression of the tumors at the castration resistant stage. This suggests that a combinational therapy that simultaneously targets both stem/progenitor and non-stem/progenitor cells will lead to better therapeutic efficacy and may become a new therapy to battle the PCa before and after castration resistant stages.
prostate cancer stem cells; androgen receptor; combination therapy
Nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat (NLR) protein complexes sense infections and trigger robust immune responses in plants and humans. Activation of plant NLR resistance (R) proteins by pathogen effectors launches convergent immune responses, including programmed cell death (PCD), reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and transcriptional reprogramming with elusive mechanisms. Functional genomic and biochemical genetic screens identified six closely related Arabidopsis Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) in mediating bifurcate immune responses activated by NLR proteins, RPS2 and RPM1. The dynamics of differential CPK1/2 activation by pathogen effectors controls the onset of cell death. Sustained CPK4/5/6/11 activation directly phosphorylates a specific subgroup of WRKY transcription factors, WRKY8/28/48, to synergistically regulate transcriptional reprogramming crucial for NLR-dependent restriction of pathogen growth, whereas CPK1/2/4/11 phosphorylate plasma membrane-resident NADPH oxidases for ROS production. Our studies delineate bifurcation of complex signaling mechanisms downstream of NLR immune sensors mediated by the myriad action of CPKs with distinct substrate specificity and subcellular dynamics.
Distinguishing self from non-self is the fundamental principle of immunity. Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins were first identified in plants as disease resistance proteins and were recently found to play essential roles in mammalian innate immunity and inflammation. NLR protein complexes sense intracellular pathogenic effectors in plants and microbial patterns and danger signals in humans, but the signaling mechanisms upon NLR activation remain elusive. Using the Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas interaction as a model system, we discovered the molecular link between NLR immune sensors and the convergent immune responses triggered by distinct pathogen effectors. Integrated functional genomic and biochemical genetic screens identified six closely related Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) that orchestrate bifurcate NLR immune signaling via distinct substrate specificity and subcellular dynamics. The CPK1/2 regulate the onset of programmed cell death; CPK4/5/6/11 phosphorylate specific WRKY transcription factors to regulate immune gene expression crucial for NLR-dependent restriction of pathogen growth, whereas CPK1/2/4/11 phosphorylate NADPH oxidases for the production of reactive oxygen species. Our studies decode the complex signaling mechanisms via the myriad action of CPKs downstream of NLR immune sensors.
Lipid metabolism plays important roles in the whole process of pregnancy. Previous studies have demonstrated abnormalities of lipid metabolism in the placentas of pregnancies obtained by assisted reproductive technology (ART). Therefore, we hypothesized that ART micromanipulation may affect lipid metabolism in offspring, and focused on the fatty acid metabolism in ART male offspring in this study.
The fatty acid metabolism in the liver, adipose tissue and testis was detected. The comparison between naturally conceived (NC), controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) mice was made to analyze the effect of ART on offspring. The mice models in this study included two age groups: adult group and old group. The fatty acid composition and the expression of lipid metabolism-related genes were analyzed by GC-MS and qRT-PCR.
The fatty acid composition in the liver and adipose tissue were significantly altered in ART mice, but no significant difference was found in the testis. In adipose tissue, ART mice showed decreased monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and increased polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in both adult and old mice, while the alteration of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) in the adult disappeared in the old. In liver, the changes were much complex in adult mice, while increased MUFAs and decreased PUFAs were found in ART old mice. The activities of fatty acid metabolism-related enzymes and the expression of lipogenic and lipolytic proteins changed in ART groups, with the adult mice and old mice showing inconsistent alterations. Further analysis indicated that SFAs was closely associated with the alterations of fatty acid metabolism-related enzyme activities and the expression of lipogenic and lipolytic proteins. Furthermore, we also found that the effect of separated ART treatments on fatty acid metabolism varied with different ages and tissues.
ART treatments had effect on the fatty acid composition in adipose tissue and liver of male mice. The alteration of SFAs content was crucial for the regulation of fatty acid composition. These changes might have potential effects on the health of ART male offspring which need further investigation.
In vitro fertilization; Intracytoplasmic sperm injection; Fatty acid composition
Wt1 encodes a zinc finger nuclear transcriptional factor, which is specifically expressed in testicular Sertoli cells and knockdown of Wt1 in Sertoli cells causes male mice subfertility. However, the underlying mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we found that expression of inhibin-α is significantly reduced in Wt1-deficient Sertoli cells. Luciferase assays using the inhibin-α promoter indicated that the inhibin-α promoter is transactivated by the Wt1 A, and B isoforms (−KTS), but not the C, and D isoforms (+KTS). Analysis of the Wt1 responsive element of the inhibin-α promoter region using site-directed mutagenesis showed that the nucleotides between −58 and −49 are essential for Wt1-dependent transactivation of the inhibin-α promoter. ChIP assays indicated that Wt1 directly interacts with the inhibin-α promoter. In addition, the inhibin-α promoter is activated synergistically by Wt1 and Sf1. Mutation of the ligand binding domain (LBD) of Sf1 (residues 235–238) completely abolished the synergistic action between Wt1 and Sf1, but did not affect the physical interaction between these two proteins, suggesting that other factor(s) may also be involved in the regulation of inhibin-α in Sertoli cells. Further studies demonstrated that β-catenin enhances the synergistic activation of Wt1 and Sf1 on the inhibin-α promoter. Given the fact that inhibin-α, a subunit of inhibin, is known to be involved in the regulation of spermatogenesis and testicular steroidogenesis, this study reveals a new regulatory mechanism of inhibin-α in Sertoli cells and also sheds light on the physiological functions of Wt1 in gonad development and spermatogenesis.
Disabled-1 (Dab1) plays a key role in reelin-mediated neuronal migration during brain development. Tyrosine phosphorylation of Dab1 at two YQXI and two YXVP motifs recruits multiple SH2 domains, resulting in activation of a wide range of signaling cascades. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the coordinated regulation of Dab1 downstream effectors remain poorly understood. Here, we show that alternative splicing results in inclusion of different combinations of YQXI and YXVP motifs in Dab1 isoforms during development. Dab1 variants with partial or complete loss of YQXI motifs are preferentially expressed at early developmental stages, whereas the commonly studied Dab1 is predominantly expressed at late developmental stages. Expression of Dab1 variants in 293T and Neuro2a cells reveals reduced levels or absence of tyrosine phosphorylation in variants that have lost one or both YQXI motifs. We further demonstrate that Dab1 variants differ in their abilities to activate Src and recruit distinct SH2 domains involved in specific downstream signaling pathways. We propose that coordinated expression of specific Dab1 isoforms in different populations of cells in the developing brain contributes to precise neuronal migration by modulating the activity of subsets of Dab1 downstream effectors.
To compare the frequency of chromosomal heteromorphisms in reproductive failure and fertile control individuals in Northeast China, and investigate the impact on reproductive failure
1751 males and 1424 couples with reproductive failure (n = 4599) and 777 fertile control individuals in Northeast China were enrolled. Chromosome karyotype analysis was performed on peripheral blood lymphocytes with standard G-banding. Additionally, C-banding was performed with heterochromatin heteromorphisms, and NORs-banding with satellites/stalks variations. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) adopted for the amplification using nine specific sequence tagged sites (STS) were used to detect Y-chromosome microdeletions with Y chromosome variations (Yqh±). At the same time, 38 heteromorphic probands’ family members were recalled for performing karyotype analysis and to be surveyed for their detailed reproductive history.
The frequency of chromosomal heteromorphisms in reproductive failure patients (2.74 %, 126/4599) was of no statistically significant difference as compared with fertile control individuals (2.06 %, 16/777) (P > 0.05). Eight cases of Y variation (Yqh±) probands with Y-chromosomal microdeletions were detected among 44 reproductive failure patients and 6 fertile control men. In the 38 recalled families, the probands of fathers or mothers, even some of their brothers or sisters, had the same heteromorphic karyotypes as probands’ despite that they didn’t have any adverse reproductive history.
There was no statistically significant difference in frequency of chromosomal heteromorphisms between reproductive failure and fertile control individuals in Northeast China. Males with Y variations (Yqh±) should be ordered Y-chromosomal microdeletions detection. Through the analysis of 38 recalled families, we can also conclude that chromosomal heteromorphisms were not the impact factors for reproductive failure.
Chromosomal heteromorphisms; Infertility; Malformed childbearing history; Recurrent spontaneous abortions; Reproductive failure; Stillbirth; Pedigree analysis; Y-chromosomal microdeletions
Substituted toluenyl groups are considered as close isosteres of the thymine residue. They can be recognized by DNA polymerases as if they were thymine. These toluene derivatives are generally inert toward radical additions, including the [2+2] photo-cycloadditions, due to the stable structure of the aromatic ring and are usually used as solvents for radical reactions. Surprisingly, after incorporating toluene into the dinucleotide framework, we found that the UV excited thymine residue readily dimerizes with the toluenyl moiety through a [2+2] photo-addition reaction. Furthermore, the reaction site on the toluenyl moiety is not the C5=C6 bond, as commonly observed in cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, but the C4=C5 or C3=C4 instead. Such a reaction pattern suggests that in the stacked structure, it is one of these bonds, not the C5=C6, that is close to the thymine C5=C6 bond. A similar structural feature is found in DNA duplex with a thymine replaced by a 2,4-difluorotoluene. Our results argue that although the substituted toluenyl moieties closely mimic the size and shape of the thymine residue, their more hydrophobic nature determines that they stack on DNA bases differently from the natural thymine residue and likely cause local conformational changes in duplex DNA.
cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers; DNA; photochemistry; stereochemistry; thymine
Analysis of the functional dynamics of human glucokinase reveals that a slow order-disorder transition governs monomeric kinetic cooperativity in response to glucose concentrations.
Glucokinase (GCK) catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glucose catabolism in the pancreas, where it functions as the body's principal glucose sensor. GCK dysfunction leads to several potentially fatal diseases including maturity–onset diabetes of the young type II (MODY-II) and persistent hypoglycemic hyperinsulinemia of infancy (PHHI). GCK maintains glucose homeostasis by displaying a sigmoidal kinetic response to increasing blood glucose levels. This positive cooperativity is unique because the enzyme functions exclusively as a monomer and possesses only a single glucose binding site. Despite nearly a half century of research, the mechanistic basis for GCK's homotropic allostery remains unresolved. Here we explain GCK cooperativity in terms of large-scale, glucose-mediated disorder–order transitions using 17 isotopically labeled isoleucine methyl groups and three tryptophan side chains as sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) probes. We find that the small domain of unliganded GCK is intrinsically disordered and samples a broad conformational ensemble. We also demonstrate that small-molecule diabetes therapeutic agents and hyperinsulinemia-associated GCK mutations share a strikingly similar activation mechanism, characterized by a population shift toward a more narrow, well-ordered ensemble resembling the glucose-bound conformation. Our results support a model in which GCK generates its cooperative kinetic response at low glucose concentrations by using a millisecond disorder–order cycle of the small domain as a “time-delay loop,” which is bypassed at high glucose concentrations, providing a unique mechanism to allosterically regulate the activity of human GCK under physiological conditions.
Glucokinase is a key metabolic enzyme that functions as the body's principal glucose sensor. Glucokinase regulates the rate at which insulin is secreted by the pancreas by using a unique but poorly understood cooperative kinetic response to increasing glucose concentrations. The physiological importance of this enzyme is underlined by the fact that mutations in the glucokinase gene lead to maturity-onset diabetes of the young type II (MODY II), permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus (PNDM), and hypoglycemic hyperinsulinemia of infancy (HI). In this study, we use cutting-edge high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance methods to understand how the kinetic properties of glucokinase contribute to glucose homeostasis. We also seek to understand how a class of recently discovered small-molecule drugs, which hold promise as therapeutics for type 2 diabetes, function to enhance glucokinase activity. Our results suggest that glucokinase samples a range of conformational states in the absence of glucose. However, in the presence of glucose or a small-molecule activator, the enzyme population shifts towards a more narrow, well-structured ensemble of states. Our findings provide a new model for glucokinase cooperative kinetics, which relies on a slow order–disorder transition in response to glucose concentrations. These results also reveal a universal mechanism of glucokinase activation, which may inform the development of new antidiabetic agents.
The small RNAs (sRNA) are a regulatory class of RNA mainly represented by the 21 and 24-nucleotide size classes. The cellular sRNAs are processed by RNase III family enzyme dicer (Dicer like in plant) from a self-complementary hairpin loop or other type of RNA duplexes. The papaya genome has been sequenced, but its microRNAs and other regulatory RNAs are yet to be analyzed.
We analyzed the genomic features of the papaya sRNA population from three sRNA deep sequencing libraries made from leaves, flowers, and leaves infected with Papaya Ringspot Virus (PRSV). We also used the deep sequencing data to annotate the micro RNA (miRNA) in papaya. We identified 60 miRNAs, 24 of which were conserved in other species, and 36 of which were novel miRNAs specific to papaya. In contrast to the Chargaff’s purine-pyrimidine equilibrium, cellular sRNA was significantly biased towards a purine rich population. Of the two purine bases, higher frequency of adenine was present in 23nt or longer sRNAs, while 22nt or shorter sRNAs were over represented by guanine bases. However, this bias was not observed in the annotated miRNAs in plants. The 21nt species were expressed from fewer loci but expressed at higher levels relative to the 24nt species. The highly expressed 21nt species were clustered in a few isolated locations of the genome. The PRSV infected leaves showed higher accumulation of 21 and 22nt sRNA compared to uninfected leaves. We observed higher accumulation of miRNA* of seven annotated miRNAs in virus-infected tissue, indicating the potential function of miRNA* under stressed conditions.
We have identified 60 miRNAs in papaya. Our study revealed the asymmetric purine-pyrimidine distribution in cellular sRNA population. The 21nt species of sRNAs have higher expression levels than 24nt sRNA. The miRNA* of some miRNAs shows higher accumulation in PRSV infected tissues, suggesting that these strands are not totally functionally redundant. The findings open a new avenue for further investigation of the sRNA silencing pathway in plants.
miRNA; siRNA; Papaya Ringspot Virus (PRSV); Small RNA strand selection; Transgene silencing
In bacteria, small regulatory non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are the most abundant class of post-transcriptional regulators. They are involved in diverse processes including quorum sensing, stress response, virulence and carbon metabolism. Recent developments in high-throughput techniques, such as genomic tiling arrays and RNA-Seq, have allowed efficient detection and characterization of bacterial sRNAs. However, a comprehensive repository to host sRNAs and their annotations is not available. Existing databases suffer from a limited number of bacterial species or sRNAs included. In addition, these databases do not have tools to integrate or analyse high-throughput sequencing data. Here, we have developed BSRD (http://kwanlab.bio.cuhk.edu.hk/BSRD), a comprehensive bacterial sRNAs database, as a repository for published bacterial sRNA sequences with annotations and expression profiles. BSRD contains over nine times more experimentally validated sRNAs than any other available databases. BSRD also provides combinatorial regulatory networks of transcription factors and sRNAs with their common targets. We have built and implemented in BSRD a novel RNA-Seq analysis platform, sRNADeep, to characterize sRNAs in large-scale transcriptome sequencing projects. We will update BSRD regularly.
To investigate anti-infective treatments in HIV-infected surgical patients during the perioperative period.
A retrospective study of sepsis and surgical site infections (SSIs) was conducted in 266 HIV-infected patients. The patients were divided into 3 groups based on CD4+ T cells counts in the preoperative period: group A (0–199 cell/ul), group B (200–349 cell/ul) and group C ([greater than or equal to] 350 cell/ul). When the CD4 count was below 350 cells/uL, anti-retrovirus therapy was started. For patients whose preoperative CD4 counts were [less than or equal to] 200 cells/uL, preoperative antibiotic medication was started.
Patients in group A were more likely to get sepsis than patients in the other two groups (p0.01). Among 82 patients with clean wounds, only one patient got SSIs. All patients with dirty wounds had acquired SSIs after surgery. There were only 6 patients dead at 30 days after surgery, a death rate of 2.3%. Sepsis appeared in 110 patients (41%).
Complete evaluation of surgical risk and suitable perioperative anti-infective treatment may lead to better outcome for HIV-infected surgical patients.
HIV/AIDS; Surgical site infection; Sepsis; Anti-infective treatment
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common disease accounting for about 12% of the adult population, and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Therapeutic angiogenesis using angiogenic factors has been considered to be a potential treatment option for PAD patients. In this study, we assessed the potential of a new angiogenic factor AGGF1 for therapeutic angiogenesis in a critical limb ischemia model in mice for PAD.
Methods and Results
We generated a unilateral hindlimb ischemia model in mice by ligation of the right common iliac artery and femoral artery. Ischemic mice with intrasmuscular administration of DNA for an expression plasmid for human AGGF1 (AGGF1 group) resulted in increased expression of both AGGF1 mRNA and protein after the administration compared with control mice with injection of the empty vector (control group). Color PW Doppler echocardiography showed that the blood flow in ischemic hindlimbs was significantly increased in the AGGF1 group compared to control mice at time points of 7, 14, and 28 days after DNA administration (n = 9/group, P = 0.049, 0.001, and 0.001, respectively). Increased blood flow in the AGGF1 group was correlated to increased density of CD31-positive vessels and decreased necrosis in muscle tissues injected with AGGF1 DNA compared with the control tissue injected with the empty vector. Ambulatory impairment was significantly reduced in the AGGF1 group compared to the control group (P = 0.004). The effect of AGGF1 was dose-dependent. At day 28 after gene transfer, AGGF1 was significantly better in increasing blood flow than FGF-2 (P = 0.034), although no difference was found for tissue necrosis and ambulatory impairment.
These data establish AGGF1 as a candidate therapeutic agent for therapeutic angiogenesis to treat PAD.
Circadian rhythms in cardiac function are apparent in e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, and acute adverse cardiac events. A circadian clock in heart tissue has been identified, but entrainment pathways of this clock are still unclear. We cultured tissues of mice carrying bioluminescence reporters of the core clock genes, period 1 or 2 (per1luc or PER2LUC) and compared in vitro responses of atrium to treatment with medium and a synthetic glucocorticoid (dexamethasone [DEX]) to that of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and liver. We observed that PER2LUC, but not per1luc is rhythmic in atrial tissue, while both per1luc and PER2LUC exhibit rhythmicity in other cultured tissues. In contrast to the SCN and liver, both per1luc and PER2LUC bioluminescence amplitudes were increased in response to DEX treatment, and the PER2LUC amplitude response was dependent on the time of treatment. Large phase-shift responses to both medium and DEX treatments were observed in the atrium, and phase responses to medium treatment were not attributed to serum content but the treatment procedure itself. The phase-response curves of atrium to both DEX and medium treatments were found to be different to the liver. Moreover, the time of day of the culturing procedure itself influenced the phase of the circadian clock in each of the cultured tissues, but the magnitude of this response was uniquely large in atrial tissue. The current data describe novel entrainment signals for the atrial circadian clock and specifically highlight entrainment by mechanical treatment, an intriguing observation considering the mechanical nature of cardiac tissue.
In this issue, Pathania et al (2011) report the involvement of BRCA1 in UV damage response at stalled replication forks which extends the function of BRCA1 beyond its established role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks, raising the complexity of how this tumor suppressor maintains genomic stability.
Progestins, particularly medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), have for a long time been used as conservative treatment for young patients with clinical stage I, grade I endometrial carcinoma. However, more than 30% of patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma display resistance to endocrine therapies at the time of presentation and most cancer patients that initially respond to progestin treatment will at some point develop resistance, resulting in tumor progression. The cellular mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to progestin are poorly understood. In order to investigate the molecular mechanisms whereby human endometrial adenocarcinoma develops resistance to progestin therapy, we have undertaken to develop human endometrial adenocarcinoma cell lines that are resistant to the growth-inhibitory effects of progestins in vitro. A progestin-resistant subcell line of Ishikawa cells was developed from Ishikawa human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells by stepwise selection in increasing concentrations of the synthetic progestin, MPA, over ten months. The doubling time of the progestin-resistant cells (34.18±3.15 h) grown routinely in the medium containing 10 μM MPA was not significantly different from the doubling time of the parent Ishikawa cells (35.14±2.68 h) grown in the absence of MPA (t=−0.331, P=0.762). Moreover, the effect of treatment with MPA shifted from suppression of growth and invasiveness, as observed in the parent Ishikawa cells, to stimulation of growth and invasiveness in the progestin-resistant Ishikawa cells. The positive rates of estrogen receptor a (ERα) and progesterone receptor B (PRB) of the progestin-resistant Ishikawa cells were significantly reduced, whilst the positive rate of ERβ was significantly enhanced compared to the parent Ishikawa cells. These differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). Our results indicate that long-term treatment with MPA in Ishikawa cells may give rise to a resistance effect to MPA. When the resistant subtype is acquired, treatment with MPA enhances cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. The imbalance of ER and PR subtypes may contribute to the mechanisms involved in progestin resistance. Determination of the subtypes of ER and PR may provide important additional information on the hormone sensitivity of endometrial carcinoma.
endometrial carcinoma; resistance to progestin; medroxyprogesterone acetate; estrogen receptor; progesterone receptor
Polyoxins are potent inhibitors of chitin synthetases in fungi and insects. The gene cluster responsible for biosynthesis of polyoxins has been cloned and sequenced from Streptomyces cacaoi and tens of polyoxin analogs have been identified already.
The polyoxin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces cacaoi was heterologously expressed in the sanN inactivated mutant of Streptomyces ansochromogenes as a nikkomycin producer. Besides hybrid antibiotics (polynik A and polyoxin N) and some known polyoxins, two novel polyoxin analogs were accumulated. One of them is polyoxin P that has 5-aminohexuronic acid with N-glycosidically bound thymine as the nucleoside moiety and dehydroxyl-carbamoylpolyoxic acid as the peptidyl moiety. The other analog is polyoxin O that contains 5-aminohexuronic acid bound thymine as the nucleoside moiety, but recruits polyoximic acid as the sole peptidyl moiety. Bioassay against phytopathogenic fungi showed that polyoxin P displayed comparatively strong inhibitory activity, whereas the inhibitory activity of polyoxin O was weak under the same testing conditions.
Two novel polyoxin analogs (polyoxin P and O) were generated by the heterologous expression of polyoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in the sanN inactivated mutant of Streptomyces ansochromogenes. Polyoxin P showed potent antifungal activity,while the activity of polyoxin O was weak. The strategy presented here may be available for other antibiotics producers.
Polyoxin; Gene cluster; Heterologous expression; S. ansochromogenes
There are two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit of the title compound, C12H12N2, in which the pyrrole and benzene rings form dihedral angles of 72.37 (7) and 82.34 (8)°. The imino N—C bond lengths in the two molecules are equal [1.286 (2) Å] and indicate C=N character. In the crystal, each molecule forms a dimer with an inversion-related molecule through a pair of classical N—H⋯N hydrogen bonds.
There are two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit of the title compound, C15H18N2, each of which features a syn disposition of the N atoms. In each molecule, the pyrrole and benzene rings are essentially perpendicular, with dihedral angles of 78.90 (9) and 79.96 (9)°. In the crystal, the independent molecules are connected by a pair of pyrrole–imino N—H⋯N hydrogen bonds, forming a two-molecule aggregate.
A wide variety of nuclear regulators and enzymes are subjected to acetylation of the lysine residue, which regulates different aspects of protein functions. The MYST family histone acetyltransferase, human ortholog of MOF (hMOF), plays critical roles in transcription activation by acetylating nucleosomal H4K16. In this study, we found that hMOF acetylates itself in vitro and in vivo, and the acetylation is restricted to the conserved MYST domain (C2HC zinc finger and HAT), of which the K274 residue is the major autoacetylation site. Furthermore, the class III histone deacetylase SIRT1 was found to interact with the MYST domain of hMOF through the deacetylase catalytic region and deacetylate autoacetylated hMOF. In vitro binding assays showed that non-acetylated hMOF robustly binds to nucleosomes while acetylation decreases the binding ability. In HeLa cells, the recruitment of hMOF to the chromatin increases in response to SIRT1 overexpression and decreases after knockdown of SIRT1. The acetylation mimic mutation K274Q apparently decreases the chromatin recruitment of hMOF as well as the global H4K16Ac level in HeLa cells. Finally, upon SIRT1 knockdown, hMOF recruitment to the gene body region of its target gene HoxA9 decreases, accompanied with decrease of H4K16Ac at the same region and repression of HoxA9 transcription. These results suggest a dynamic interplay between SIRT1 and hMOF in regulating H4K16 acetylation.
hMOF; autoacetylation; SIRT1; nucleosome; deacetylation
In non-mammalian vertebrates, the pineal gland functions as the central pacemaker that regulates the circadian rhythms of animal behavior and physiology. We generated a transgenic zebrafish line [Tg(Gnat2:gal4-VP16/UAS:nfsB-mCherry)] in which the E. coli nitroreductase is expressed in pineal photoreceptor cells. In developing embryos and young adults, the transgene is expressed in both retinal and pineal photoreceptor cells. During aging, the expression of the transgene in retinal photoreceptor cells gradually diminishes. By 8 months of age, the Gnat2 promoter-driven nitroreductase is no longer expressed in retinal photoreceptor cells, but its expression in pineal photoreceptor cells persists. This provides a tool for selective ablation of pineal photoreceptor cells, i.e., by treatments with metronidazole. In the absence of pineal photoreceptor cells, the behavioral visual sensitivity of the fish remains unchanged; however, the circadian rhythms of rod and cone sensitivity are diminished. Brief light exposures restore the circadian rhythms of behavioral visual sensitivity. Together, the data suggest that retinal photoreceptor cells respond to environmental cues and are capable of entraining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity; however, they are insufficient for maintaining the rhythms. Cellular signals from the pineal photoreceptor cells may be required for maintaining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity.