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1.  A genetically engineered ovarian cancer mouse model based on fallopian tube transformation mimics human high-grade serous carcinoma development 
The Journal of pathology  2014;233(3):228-237.
Recent evidence suggests that ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) originates from the epithelium of the fallopian tube. However, most mouse models are based on the previous prevailing view that ovarian cancer develops from the transformation of the ovarian surface epithelium. Here, we report the extensive histological and molecular characterization of the mogp-TAg transgenic mouse, which expresses the SV40 large T-antigen (TAg) under the control of the mouse müllerian-specific Ovgp-1 promoter. Histologic analysis of the fallopian tubes of mogp-TAg mice identified a variety of neoplastic lesions analogous to those described as precursors to ovarian HGSC. We identified areas of normal appearing p53-positive epithelium that are similar to “p53 signatures” in the human fallopian tube. More advanced proliferative lesions with nuclear atypia and epithelial stratification were also identified that were morphologically and immunohistochemically reminiscent of human serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC), a potential precursor of ovarian HGSC. Beside these noninvasive precursor lesions, we also identified invasive adenocarcinoma in the ovary of 56% of the mice. Microarray analysis revealed several genes differentially expressed between the fallopian tube of mogp-TAg and wild type (WT) C57BL/6. One of these genes, Top2a, which encodes topoisomerase II-alpha, was shown by immunohistochemistry to be concurrently expressed with elevated p53 and specifically elevated in mouse STICs, but not in surrounding tissues. TOP2A protein was also found elevated in human STICs, low-grade, and high-grade serous carcinoma. The mouse model reported here displays a progression from normal tubal epithelium to invasive HGSC in the ovary, and therefore closely simulates the current emerging model of human ovarian HGSC pathogenesis. This mouse therefore has the potential to be a very useful new model for elucidating the mechanisms of serous ovarian tumorigenesis, as well as for developing novel approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of this disease.
doi:10.1002/path.4353
PMCID: PMC4149901  PMID: 24652535
transgenic mouse model; ovarian cancer; fallopian tube; intraepithelial carcinoma; p53; Top2a
2.  MNKs act as a regulatory switch for eIF4E1 and eIF4E3 driven mRNA translation in DLBCL 
Nature communications  2014;5:5413.
The phosphorylation of eIF4E1 at serine 209 by MNK1 or MNK2 has been shown to initiate oncogenic mRNA translation, a process that favours cancer development and maintenance. Here, we interrogate the MNK-eIF4E axis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and show a distinct distribution of MNK1 and MNK2 in germinal centre B-cell (GCB) and activated B-cell (ABC) DLBCL. Despite displaying a differential distribution in GCB and ABC, both MNKs functionally complement each other to sustain cell survival. MNK inhibition ablates eIF4E1 phosphorylation and concurrently enhances eIF4E3 expression. Loss of MNK protein itself down-regulates total eIF4E1 protein level by reducing eIF4E1 mRNA polysomal loading without affecting total mRNA level or stability. Enhanced eIF4E3 expression marginally suppresses eIF4E1-driven translation but exhibits a unique translatome that unveils a novel role for eIF4E3 in translation initiation. We propose that MNKs can modulate oncogenic translation by regulating eIF4E1-eIF4E3 levels and activity in DLBCL.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6413
PMCID: PMC4238046  PMID: 25403230
3.  Human Umbilical Cord Matrix Mesenchymal Stem Cells Suppress the Growth of Breast Cancer by Expression of Tumor Suppressor Genes 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0123756.
Human and rat umbilical cord matrix mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSC) possess the ability to control the growth of breast carcinoma cells. Comparative analyses of two types of UCMSC suggest that rat UCMSC-dependent growth regulation is significantly stronger than that of human UCMSC. Their different tumoricidal abilities were clarified by analyzing gene expression profiles in the two types of UCMSC. Microarray analysis revealed differential gene expression between untreated naïve UCMSC and those co-cultured with species-matched breast carcinoma cells. The analyses screened 17 differentially expressed genes that are commonly detected in both human and rat UCMSC. The comparison between the two sets of gene expression profiles identified two tumor suppressor genes, adipose-differentiation related protein (ADRP) and follistatin (FST), that were specifically up-regulated in rat UCMSC, but down-regulated in human UCMSC when they were co-cultured with the corresponding species’ breast carcinoma cells. Over-expression of FST, but not ADRP, in human UCMSC enhanced their ability to suppress the growth of MDA-231 cells. The growth of MDA-231 cells was also significantly lower when they were cultured in medium conditioned with FST, but not ADRP over-expressing human UCMSC. In the breast carcinoma lung metastasis model generated with MDA-231 cells, systemic treatment with FST-over-expressing human UCMSC significantly attenuated the tumor burden. These results suggest that FST may play an important role in exhibiting stronger tumoricidal ability in rat UCMSC than human UCMSC and also implies that human UCMSC can be transformed into stronger tumoricidal cells by enhancing tumor suppressor gene expression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123756
PMCID: PMC4420498  PMID: 25942583
4.  Age-related Brain Expression and Regulation of the Chemokine CCL4/MIP-1β in APP/PS1 Double Transgenic Mice 
The detrimental effect of activation of the chemokine CCL4/MIP-1β on neuronal integrity in patients with HIV-associated dementia has directed attention to the potential role of CCL4 expression and regulation in Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, we show that CCL4 mRNA and protein are overexpressed in the brains of APPswe/PS1 E9 (APP/PS1) double transgenic mice, a model of cerebral amyloid deposition; expression was minimal in brains from non-transgenic littermates or single mutant controls. Increased levels of CCL4 mRNA and protein directly correlated with the age-related progression of cerebral amyloid-β (Aβ) levels in APP/PS1 mice. We also found significantly increased expression of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), which was positively correlated with age-related Aβ deposition and CCL4 in the brains of APP/PS1 mice. Results from chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR confirmed that ATF3 binds to the promoter region of the CCL4 gene, consistent with a potential role in regulating CCL4 transcription. Finally, elevated ATF3 mRNA expression in APP/PS1 brains was associated with hypomethylation of the ATF3 gene promoter region. These observations prompt the testable hypothesis for future study that CCL4 overexpression, regulated in part by hypomethylation of the ATF3 gene, may contribute to neuropathological progression associated with amyloid deposition in AD.
doi:10.1097/NEN.0000000000000060
PMCID: PMC3977177  PMID: 24607962
Alzheimer disease; ATF3; CCL4/MIP-1β; Epigenetics; Neuroinflammation
5.  Combined treatment of rapamycin and dietary restriction have a larger effect on the transcriptome and metabolome of liver 
Aging cell  2013;13(2):311-319.
Summary
Rapamycin (Rapa) and dietary restriction (DR) have consistently been shown to increase lifespan. To investigate whether Rapa and DR affect similar pathways in mice, we compared the effects of feeding mice ad libitum (AL), Rapa, DR, or a combination of Rapa and DR (Rapa+DR) on the transcriptome and metabolome of the liver. The principal component analysis shows that Rapa and DR are distinct groups. Over 2500 genes are significantly changed with either Rapa or DR compared to mice fed AL; more than 80% are unique to DR or Rapa. A similar observation was made when genes were grouped into pathways; two-thirds of the pathways are uniquely changed by DR or Rapa. The metabolome shows an even greater difference between Rapa and DR; no metabolites in Rapa-treated mice were changed significantly from AL mice, while 173 metabolites were changed in the DR mice. Interestingly, the number of genes significantly changed by Rapa+DR compared to AL is twice as large as the number of genes significantly altered by either DR or Rapa alone. In summary, the global effects of DR or Rapa on the liver are quite different and a combination of Rapa and DR results in alterations in a large number of genes and metabolites that are not significantly changed by either manipulation alone, suggesting that a combination of DR and Rapa would be more effective in extending longevity than either treatment alone.
doi:10.1111/acel.12175
PMCID: PMC3989927  PMID: 24304444
Rapamycin; dietary restriction; metabolome; transcriptome
6.  Caloric restriction induces heat shock response and inhibits B16F10 cell tumorigenesis both in vitro and in vivo 
Aging (Albany NY)  2015;7(4):233-239.
Caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition is one of the most consistent strategies for increasing mean and maximal lifespan and delaying the onset of age-associated diseases. Stress resistance is a common trait of many long-lived mutants and life-extending interventions, including CR. Indeed, better protection against heat shock and other genotoxic insults have helped explain the pro-survival properties of CR. In this study, both in vitro and in vivo responses to heat shock were investigated using two different models of CR. Murine B16F10 melanoma cells treated with serum from CR-fed rats showed lower proliferation, increased tolerance to heat shock and enhanced HSP-70 expression, compared to serum from ad libitum-fed animals. Similar effects were observed in B16F10 cells implanted subcutaneously in male C57BL/6 mice subjected to CR. Microarray analysis identified a number of genes and pathways whose expression profile were similar in both models. These results suggest that the use of an in vitro model could be a good alternative to study the mechanisms by which CR exerts its anti-tumorigenic effects.
PMCID: PMC4429088  PMID: 25948793
caloric restriction; heat shock; stress response; tumorigenesis; aging
7.  Distinct inhibitory effects on mTOR signaling by ethanol and INK128 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
Background
The mechanistic target of rapamycin, (mTOR) kinase plays a pivotal role in controlling critical cellular growth and survival pathways, and its aberrant induction is implicated in cancer pathogenesis. Therefore, suppression of active mTOR signaling has been of great interest to researchers; several mTOR inhibitors have been discovered to date. Ethanol (EtOH), similar to pharmacologic mTOR inhibitors, has been shown to suppress the mTOR signaling pathway, though in a non-catalytic manner. Despite population studies showing that the consumption of EtOH has a protective effect against hematological malignancies, the mechanisms behind EtOH’s modulation of mTOR activity in cells and its downstream consequences are largely unknown. Here we evaluated the effects of EtOH on the mTOR pathway, in comparison to the active-site mTOR inhibitor INK128, and compared translatome analysis of their downstream effects in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
Results
Treatment of DLBCL cells with EtOH suppressed mTORC1 complex formation while increasing AKT phosphorylation and mTORC2 complex assembly. INK128 completely abrogated AKT phosphorylation without affecting the structure of mTORC1/2 complexes. Accordingly, EtOH less profoundly suppressed cap-dependent translation and global protein synthesis, compared to a remarkable inhibitory effect of INK128 treatment. Importantly, EtOH treatment induced the formation of stress granules, while INK128 suppressed their formation. Microarray analysis of polysomal RNA revealed that although both agents primarily affected cell growth and survival, EtOH and INK128 regulated the synthesis of mostly distinct genes involved in these processes. Though both EtOH and INK128 inhibited cell cycle, proliferation and autophagy, EtOH, in contrast to INK128, did not induce cell apoptosis.
Conclusion
Given that EtOH, similar to pharmacologic mTOR inhibitors, inhibits mTOR signaling, we systematically explored the effect of EtOH and INK128 on mTOR signal transduction, components of the mTORC1/2 interaction and their downstream effectors in DLBCL malignancy. We found that EtOH partially inhibits mTOR signaling and protein translation, compared to INK128’s complete mTOR inhibition. Translatome analysis of mTOR downstream target genes established that differential inhibition of mTOR by EtOH and INK128 distinctly modulates translation of specific subsets of mRNAs involved in cell growth and survival, leading to differential cellular response and survival.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12964-015-0091-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12964-015-0091-0
PMCID: PMC4350884  PMID: 25849580
mTOR signaling; Translation; EtOH; INK128; DLBCL; Gene expression
8.  RNA-Binding Protein AUF1 Promotes Myogenesis by Regulating MEF2C Expression Levels 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(16):3106-3119.
The mammalian RNA-binding protein AUF1 (AU-binding factor 1, also known as heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D [hnRNP D]) binds to numerous mRNAs and influences their posttranscriptional fate. Given that many AUF1 target mRNAs encode muscle-specific factors, we investigated the function of AUF1 in skeletal muscle differentiation. In mouse C2C12 myocytes, where AUF1 levels rise at the onset of myogenesis and remain elevated throughout myocyte differentiation into myotubes, RNP immunoprecipitation (RIP) analysis indicated that AUF1 binds prominently to Mef2c (myocyte enhancer factor 2c) mRNA, which encodes the key myogenic transcription factor MEF2C. By performing mRNA half-life measurements and polysome distribution analysis, we found that AUF1 associated with the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of Mef2c mRNA and promoted MEF2C translation without affecting Mef2c mRNA stability. In addition, AUF1 promoted Mef2c gene transcription via a lesser-known role of AUF1 in transcriptional regulation. Importantly, lowering AUF1 delayed myogenesis, while ectopically restoring MEF2C expression levels partially rescued the impairment of myogenesis seen after reducing AUF1 levels. We propose that MEF2C is a key effector of the myogenesis program promoted by AUF1.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00423-14
PMCID: PMC4135590  PMID: 24891619
9.  DNA polymerase β deficiency leads to neurodegeneration and exacerbates Alzheimer disease phenotypes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(2):943-959.
We explore the role of DNA damage processing in the progression of cognitive decline by creating a new mouse model. The new model is a cross of a common Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse (3xTgAD), with a mouse that is heterozygous for the critical DNA base excision repair enzyme, DNA polymerase β. A reduction of this enzyme causes neurodegeneration and aggravates the AD features of the 3xTgAD mouse, inducing neuronal dysfunction, cell death and impairing memory and synaptic plasticity. Transcriptional profiling revealed remarkable similarities in gene expression alterations in brain tissue of human AD patients and 3xTg/Polβ+/− mice including abnormalities suggestive of impaired cellular bioenergetics. Our findings demonstrate that a modest decrement in base excision repair capacity can render the brain more vulnerable to AD-related molecular and cellular alterations.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku1356
PMCID: PMC4333403  PMID: 25552414
10.  Secondary Antifungal Prophylaxis in Hematological Malignancy Patients with Previous Invasive Fungal Disease: A Retrospective Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115461.
Background
Invasive fungal disease (IFD) causes morbidity and mortality in patients with hematological malignancy. Recurrence of IFD after chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is associated with poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigate the efficacy of different strategies of secondary antifungal prophylaxis (SAP) for IFD and choose an appropriate SAP regimen.
Methods
Clinical data of patients with previous IFD who underwent chemotherapy or HSCT between Jan 2008 and Jun 2013 were retrospectively reviewed and followed up to 180 days post-chemotherapy or HSCT. The clinical characteristics and diagnosis were analyzed according to the diagnostic criteria for IFD. The efficacy of different strategies for SAP and risk factors influencing the failure of SAP were evaluated.
Results
Of the 164 patients enrolled, 121 patients received SAP regimen (73.78%), and IFD recurred in 40 patients: 16.5% (20/121) in SAP group and 46.5% (20/43) in non-SAP group. In SAP group, 58 received SAP agents which were proven effective for their previous IFD, while other 63 patients received other broad-spectrum antifungal agents. There was no significant difference in the recurrence rates between these two subgroups (13.8% (8/58) vs 19.0% (12/63), P = 0.437). The IFD recurrence rates were statistically significant between patients with allogeneic HSCT and chemotherapy or autologous HSCT (25% vs 8.2%, P = 0.013). Multivariate analysis indicated that allogeneic HSCT was the independent risk factor of IFD recurrence after SAP.
Conclusions
Secondary antifungal prophylaxis is necessary to prevent IFD recurrence in patients with hematological malignancy, especially for patients in the setting of allogeneic HSCT.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115461
PMCID: PMC4274009  PMID: 25531544
11.  Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Treatment of Patients with Leukemia Concomitant with Active Tuberculosis Infection 
Background
Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is still an essential treatment approach for leukemia. However, patients with leukemia often have weakened immune function, especially more seriously compromised cellular immune response, and appear to be at greater risk for tuberculosis infection during the transplantation process. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of patients with leukemia accompanying active tuberculosis infection.
Material/Methods
We retrospectively analyzed records of 7 consecutive patients who were diagnosed with leukemia concomitant with active tuberculosis infection and who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in our hospital from January 2006 to December 2012.
Results
Among these 7 patients (4 males and 3 females; median age: 38 years; range: 30–46 years), the mean duration of anti-TB treatment before transplantation was 3 months (range: 2–4.5 months). All patients acquired engraftment, with an implantation rate of 100%. After transplantation, the mean duration of anti-TB treatment was 12 months. All patients had response after receiving anti-TB treatment. One patient died of leukemia relapse 6 months after the transplantation, but no tuberculosis infection-related death was reported.
Conclusions
Patients with leukemia concomitant with active tuberculosis infection can be treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation if they receive an effective anti-TB treatment regimen. The anti-TB treatment regimen had no effect against hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and was well-tolerated. All post-transplanted patients experienced no relapse of tuberculosis during the immune-suppression period. The findings in the present investigation deserve further in-depth study.
doi:10.12659/MSM.891380
PMCID: PMC4260619  PMID: 25433702
Adult Stem Cells; Leukemia, Biphenotypic, Acute; Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
12.  MNKs act as a regulatory switch for eIF4E1 and eIF4E3 driven mRNA translation in DLBCL 
Nature Communications  2014;5:5413.
The phosphorylation of eIF4E1 at serine 209 by MNK1 or MNK2 has been shown to initiate oncogenic mRNA translation, a process that favours cancer development and maintenance. Here, we interrogate the MNK-eIF4E axis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and show a distinct distribution of MNK1 and MNK2 in germinal centre B-cell (GCB) and activated B-cell (ABC) DLBCL. Despite displaying a differential distribution in GCB and ABC, both MNKs functionally complement each other to sustain cell survival. MNK inhibition ablates eIF4E1 phosphorylation and concurrently enhances eIF4E3 expression. Loss of MNK protein itself downregulates total eIF4E1 protein level by reducing eIF4E1 mRNA polysomal loading without affecting total mRNA level or stability. Enhanced eIF4E3 expression marginally suppresses eIF4E1-driven translation but exhibits a unique translatome that unveils a novel role for eIF4E3 in translation initiation. We propose that MNKs can modulate oncogenic translation by regulating eIF4E1-eIF4E3 levels and activity in DLBCL.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a highly aggressive and heterogeneous type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Here the authors demonstrate that the differential regulation of eIF4E1 and eIF4E3 by the MAPK-interacting kinases is involved in DLBCL aetiology through modification of the cellular translatome.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6413
PMCID: PMC4238046  PMID: 25403230
13.  Susceptibility Of Ph-Positive All To Tki Therapy Associated With Bcr-Abl Rearrangement Patterns: A Retrospective Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e110431.
Background
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have demonstrated success in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in patients that express BCR-ABL rearrangements (Philadelphia chromosome [Ph]). The current study aimed to assess the efficacy of TKIs and prognostic factors in the treatment of adults with Ph+-ALL.
Methods
In this multicenter retrospective study, the relationship between Ph+-ALL and treatment outcomes among Chinese patients receiving TKI-containing induction/consolidation chemotherapy was examined. A total of 86 Ph+-ALL patients were included and followed for 3.85 (0.43–9.30) years. Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were analyzed.
Results
A total of 86 Ph+-ALL patients (40 females and 46 males; median age: 34.0 years) were enrolled, including those with BCR/ABL transcripts 190 (n = 52), 210 (n = 25), and 230 (n = 2); BCR/ABL isoform determination was not available for 7 patients. Mortality was influenced by variable BCR/ABL transcripts and TKI administration, and BCR/ABL transcripts, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and TKI administration were associated with the occurrence of events. The OS rate in the TKI administration group during steady state was significantly higher compared with those patients who did not receive TKI administration (P = 0.008), the EFS rate in the TKI administration group during steady state was significantly higher compared with those patients who did not receive TKIs (P = 0.012), and also higher than those with TKI salvage administration (P = 0.004). BCR/ABL transcripts 210 showed preferable OS and EFS compared with BCR/ABL transcripts 190 and 230 (P<0.05 for each).
Conclusions
The susceptibility of Ph+-ALL to TKI associated with the patterns of BCR-ABL rearrangement is demonstrated for the first time, thus adding another risk-stratifying molecular prognostic tool for the management of patients with Ph+-ALL.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110431
PMCID: PMC4240579  PMID: 25415187
14.  Age-associated changes in basal NF-κB function in human CD4+ T lymphocytes via dysregulation of PI3 kinase 
Aging (Albany NY)  2014;6(11):957-969.
Immune impairment and high circulating level of pro-inflammatory cytokines are landmarks of human aging. However, the molecular basis of immune dys-regulation and the source of inflammatory markers remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that in the absence of overt cell stimulation gene expression mediated by the transcription factor NF-κB is higher in purified and rested human CD4+ T lymphocytes from older compared to younger individuals. This increase of NF-κB-associated transcription includes transcripts for pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and chemokines such as CCL2 and CXCL10. We demonstrate that NF-κB up-regulation is cell-intrinsic and mediated in part by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity induced in response to metabolic activity, which can be moderated by rapamycin treatment. Our observations provide direct evidence that dys-regulated basal NF-κB activity may contribute to the mild pro-inflammatory state of aging.
PMCID: PMC4276789  PMID: 25553802
CD4+ T cells; NF-κB; PI3K; human aging; gene expression
15.  SRT2104 extends survival of male mice on a standard diet and preserves bone and muscle mass 
Aging Cell  2014;13(5):787-796.
Increased expression of SIRT1 extends the lifespan of lower organisms and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. Here, we show that SRT2104, a synthetic small molecule activator of SIRT1, extends both mean and maximal lifespan of mice fed a standard diet. This is accompanied by improvements in health, including enhanced motor coordination, performance, bone mineral density, and insulin sensitivity associated with higher mitochondrial content and decreased inflammation. Short-term SRT2104 treatment preserves bone and muscle mass in an experimental model of atrophy. These results demonstrate it is possible to design a small molecule that can slow aging and delay multiple age-related diseases in mammals, supporting the therapeutic potential of SIRT1 activators in humans.
doi:10.1111/acel.12220
PMCID: PMC4172519  PMID: 24931715
healthspan; inflammation; lifespan; muscle wasting; osteoporosis; sirtuins
16.  Calorie restriction in humans inhibits the PI3K/AKT pathway and induces a younger transcription profile 
Aging cell  2013;12(4):645-651.
Summary
Caloric restriction (CR) and down-regulation of the insulin/IGF pathway are the most robust interventions known to increase longevity in lower organisms. However, little is known about the molecular adaptations induced by CR in humans. Here we report that long-term CR in humans inhibits the IGF-1/insulin pathway in skeletal muscle, a key metabolic tissue. We also demonstrate that CR-induced dramatic changes of the skeletal muscle transcriptional profile that resemble those of younger individuals. Finally, in both rats and humans CR evoked similar responses in the transcriptional profiles of skeletal muscle. This common signature consisted of three key pathways typically associated with longevity: IGF-1/insulin signaling, mitochondrial biogenesis and inflammation. Furthermore, our data identifies promising pathways for therapeutic targets to combat age-related diseases and promote health in humans.
doi:10.1111/acel.12088
PMCID: PMC3714316  PMID: 23601134
human; caloric restriction; skeletal muscle; insulin/IGF-1 signaling
17.  Changes in mouse cognition and hippocampal gene expression observed in a mild physical- and blast-traumatic brain injury 
Neurobiology of disease  2013;54:1-11.
Warfare has long been associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in militarized zones. Common forms of TBI can be caused by a physical insult to the head-brain or by the effects of a high velocity blast shock wave generated by the detonation of an explosive device. While both forms of trauma are distinctly different regarding the mechanism of trauma induction, there are striking similarities in the cognitive and emotional status of survivors. Presently, proven effective therapeutics for the treatment of either form of TBI are unavailable. To be able to develop efficacious therapies, studies involving animal models of physical- and blast-TBI are required to identify possible novel or existing medicines that may be of value in the management of clinical events. We examined indices of cognition and anxiety-like behavior and the hippocampal gene transcriptome of mice subjected to both forms of TBI. We identified common behavioral deficits and gene expression regulations, in addition to unique injury-specific forms of gene regulation. Molecular pathways presented a pattern similar to that seen in gene expression. Interestingly, pathways connected to Alzheimer’s disease displayed a markedly different form of regulation depending on the type of TBI. While these data highlight similarities in behavioral outcomes after trauma, the divergence in hippocampal transcriptome observed between models suggests that, at the molecular level, the TBIs are quite different. These models may provide tools to help define therapeutic approaches for the treatment of physical- and blast-TBIs. Based upon observations of increasing numbers of personnel displaying TBI related emotional and behavioral changes in militarized zones, the development of efficacious therapies will become a national if not a global priority.
doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2013.02.006
PMCID: PMC3628969  PMID: 23454194
Physical-traumatic brain injury; Blast-traumatic brain injury; Cognitive dysfunction; Gene expression; Molecular pathway(s); Neurodegeneration; Stem cells; Alzheimer’s disease
18.  Molecular characterization of the transition to mid-life in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Age  2012;35(3):689-703.
We present an initial molecular characterization of a morphological transition between two early aging states. In previous work, an age score reflecting physiological age was developed using a machine classifier trained on images of worm populations at fixed chronological ages throughout their lifespan. The distribution of age scores identified three stable post-developmental states and transitions. The first transition occurs at day 5 post-hatching, where a significant percentage of the population exists in both state I and state II. The temperature dependence of the timing of this transition (Q10 ~ 1.17) is too low to be explained by a stepwise process with an enzymatic or chemical rate-limiting step, potentially implicating a more complex mechanism. Individual animals at day 5 were sorted into state I and state II groups using the machine classifier and analyzed by microarray expression profiling. Despite being isogenic, grown for the same amount of time, and indistinguishable by eye, these two morphological states were confirmed to be molecularly distinct by hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis of the microarray results. These molecular differences suggest that pharynx morphology reflects the aging state of the whole organism. Our expression profiling yielded a gene set that showed significant overlap with those from three previous age-related studies and identified several genes not previously implicated in aging. A highly represented group of genes unique to this study is involved in targeted ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, including Skp1-related (SKR), F-box-containing, and BTB motif adaptors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9401-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9401-2
PMCID: PMC3636400  PMID: 22610697
Machine classifier; Biomarker of aging; Metastable aging state; Microarray analysis
19.  The SIRT1 activator SRT1720 extends lifespan and improves health of mice fed a standard diet 
Cell reports  2014;6(5):836-843.
The prevention or delay of the onset of age-related diseases prolongs survival and improves quality of life while reducing the burden on the health care system. Activation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), an NAD+ deacetylase, improves metabolism and confers protection against physiological and cognitive disturbances in old age. SRT1720 is a specific SIRT1 activator that has health and lifespan benefits in adult mice fed a high-fat diet. We found extension in lifespan, delayed onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improved general health in mice fed a standard diet after SRT1720 supplementation. Inhibition of pro-inflammatory gene expression both in the liver and muscle of SRT1720-treated animals was noted. SRT1720 lowered phosphorylation of NF-κB pathway regulators in vitro only when SIRT1 was functionally present. Combined with our previous work, the current study further supports the beneficial effects of SRT1720 on health across the lifespan in mice.
doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.01.031
PMCID: PMC4010117  PMID: 24582957
SRT1720; healthspan; standard diet; mice; longevity; SIRT1
20.  Combined treatment of rapamycin and dietary restriction has a larger effect on the transcriptome and metabolome of liver 
Aging Cell  2013;13(2):311-319.
Rapamycin (Rapa) and dietary restriction (DR) have consistently been shown to increase lifespan. To investigate whether Rapa and DR affect similar pathways in mice, we compared the effects of feeding mice ad libitum (AL), Rapa, DR, or a combination of Rapa and DR (Rapa + DR) on the transcriptome and metabolome of the liver. The principal component analysis shows that Rapa and DR are distinct groups. Over 2500 genes are significantly changed with either Rapa or DR when compared with mice fed AL; more than 80% are unique to DR or Rapa. A similar observation was made when genes were grouped into pathways; two-thirds of the pathways were uniquely changed by DR or Rapa. The metabolome shows an even greater difference between Rapa and DR; no metabolites in Rapa-treated mice were changed significantly from AL mice, whereas 173 metabolites were changed in the DR mice. Interestingly, the number of genes significantly changed by Rapa + DR when compared with AL is twice as large as the number of genes significantly altered by either DR or Rapa alone. In summary, the global effects of DR or Rapa on the liver are quite different and a combination of Rapa and DR results in alterations in a large number of genes and metabolites that are not significantly changed by either manipulation alone, suggesting that a combination of DR and Rapa would be more effective in extending longevity than either treatment alone.
doi:10.1111/acel.12175
PMCID: PMC3989927  PMID: 24304444
dietary restriction; metabolome; rapamycin; transcriptome
21.  Metformin improves healthspan and lifespan in mice 
Nature communications  2013;4:2192.
Metformin is a drug commonly prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Here we show that long-term treatment with metformin (0.1% w/w in diet) starting at middle age extends healthspan and lifespan in male mice, while a higher dose (1% w/w) was toxic. Treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced LDL and cholesterol levels without a decrease in caloric intake. At a molecular level, metformin increases AMP-activated protein kinase activity and increases antioxidant protection, resulting in reductions in both oxidative damage accumulation and chronic inflammation. Our results indicate that these actions may contribute to the beneficial effects of metformin on healthspan and lifespan. These findings are in agreement with current epidemiological data and raise the possibility of metformin-based interventions to promote healthy aging.
doi:10.1038/ncomms3192
PMCID: PMC3736576  PMID: 23900241
22.  Down-Regulation of eIF4GII by miR-520c-3p Represses Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma Development 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(1):e1004105.
Deregulation of the translational machinery is emerging as a critical contributor to cancer development. The contribution of microRNAs in translational gene control has been established however; the role of microRNAs in disrupting the cap-dependent translation regulation complex has not been previously described. Here, we established that elevated miR-520c-3p represses global translation, cell proliferation and initiates premature senescence in HeLa and DLBCL cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that miR-520c-3p directly targets translation initiation factor, eIF4GII mRNA and negatively regulates eIF4GII protein synthesis. miR-520c-3p overexpression diminishes cells colony formation and reduces tumor growth in a human xenograft mouse model. Consequently, downregulation of eIF4GII by siRNA decreases translation, cell proliferation and ability to form colonies, as well as induces cellular senescence. In vitro and in vivo findings were further validated in patient samples; DLBCL primary cells demonstrated low miR-520c-3p levels with reciprocally up-regulated eIF4GII protein expression. Our results provide evidence that the tumor suppressor effect of miR-520c-3p is mediated through repression of translation while inducing senescence and that eIF4GII is a key effector of this anti-tumor activity.
Author Summary
Control of gene expression on the translational level is critical for proper function of major cellular processes and deregulation of translation can promote cellular transformation. Emerging actors in this post-transcriptional gene regulation are small non-coding RNAs referred to as microRNAs (miRNAs). We established that miR-520c-3p represses tumor growth through the repression of eIF4GII, a major structural component of the translation initiation complex. Since translation of most cellular mRNAs is primarily regulated at the level of initiation, this node is becoming a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Identified in this study, tumor suppressor function of miR-520c-3p is mediated through the inhibition of translational factor eIF4GII, resulting in the repression of global translational machinery and induction of senescence in tumor cells. While aging and senescence has been shown to be associated with reduced translation the linkage between translational deregulation and senescence in malignant cells has not been previously described. Lending further clinical significance to our findings, we were able to demonstrate that primary DLBCL samples had elevated levels of eIF4GII while having reciprocally low miR-520c-3p expression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004105
PMCID: PMC3907297  PMID: 24497838
23.  Mice Fed Rapamycin Have an Increase in Lifespan Associated with Major Changes in the Liver Transcriptome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83988.
Rapamycin was found to increase (11% to 16%) the lifespan of male and female C57BL/6J mice most likely by reducing the increase in the hazard for mortality (i.e., the rate of aging) term in the Gompertz mortality analysis. To identify the pathways that could be responsible for rapamycin's longevity effect, we analyzed the transcriptome of liver from 25-month-old male and female mice fed rapamycin starting at 4 months of age. Few changes (<300 transcripts) were observed in transcriptome of rapamycin-fed males; however, a large number of transcripts (>4,500) changed significantly in females. Using multidimensional scaling and heatmap analyses, the male mice fed rapamycin were found to segregate into two groups: one group that is almost identical to control males (Rapa-1) and a second group (Rapa-2) that shows a change in gene expression (>4,000 transcripts) with more than 60% of the genes shared with female mice fed Rapa. Using ingenuity pathway analysis, 13 pathways were significantly altered in both Rapa-2 males and rapamycin-fed females with mitochondrial function as the most significantly changed pathway. Our findings show that rapamycin has a major effect on the transcriptome and point to several pathways that would likely impact the longevity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083988
PMCID: PMC3883653  PMID: 24409289
24.  Interrogation of brain miRNA and mRNA expression profiles reveals a molecular regulatory network that is perturbed by mutant huntingtin 
Journal of neurochemistry  2012;123(4):477-490.
Emerging evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease (HD). To identify the individual miRNAs that are altered in HD and may therefore regulate a gene network underlying mutant huntingtin-induced neuronal dysfunction in HD, we performed miRNA array analysis combined with mRNA profiling in the cerebral cortex from N171-82Q HD mice. Expression profiles of miRNAs as well as mRNAs in HD mouse cerebral cortex were analyzed and confirmed at different stages of disease progression; the most significant changes of miRNAs in the cerebral cortex were also detected in the striatum of HD mice. Our results revealed a significant alteration of miR-200 family members, miR-200a and miR-200c in the cerebral cortex and the striatum, at the early stage of disease progression in N171-82Q HD mice. We used a coordinated approach to integrate miRNA and mRNA profiling, and applied bioinformatics to predict a target gene network potentially regulated by these significantly altered miRNAs that might be involved in HD disease progression. Interestingly, miR-200a and miR-200c are predicted to target genes regulating synaptic function, neurodevelopment and neuronal survival. Our results suggest that altered expression of miR-200a and miR-200c may interrupt the production of proteins involved in neuronal plasticity and survival, and further investigation of the involvement of perturbed miRNA expression in HD pathogenesis is warranted, and may lead to reveal novel approaches for HD therapy.
doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07925.x
PMCID: PMC3472040  PMID: 22906125
miRNA array; Huntington’s disease; gene array; miR-200; Trim2
25.  Response of microchip solid-state laser to external frequency-shifted feedback and its applications 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2912.
The response of the microchip solid-state Nd:YAG laser, which is subjected to external frequency-shifted feedback, is experimentally and theoretically analysed. The continuous weak response of the laser to the phase and amplitude of the feedback light is achieved by controlling the feedback power level, and this system can be used to achieve contact-free measurement of displacement, vibration, liquid evaporation and thermal expansion with nanometre accuracy in common room conditions without precise environmental control. Furthermore, a strong response, including chaotic harmonic and parametric oscillation, is observed, and the spectrum of this response, as examined by a frequency-stabilised Nd:YAG laser, indicates laser spectral linewidth broadening.
doi:10.1038/srep02912
PMCID: PMC3793223  PMID: 24105389

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