The TEL-Syk fusion protein was isolated from a patient with myelodysplasia with megakaryocyte blasts. Expression of TEL-Syk transforms interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent Ba/F3 cells in vitro by deregulating STAT5-mediated signal transduction pathways. In vivo, TEL-Syk expression in pre-B cells blocks B cell differentiation, leading to lymphoid leukemia. Here, we demonstrate that TEL-Syk introduced into fetal liver hematopoietic cells, which are then adoptively transferred into lethally irradiated recipients, leads to an aggressive myelodysplasia with myelofibrosis that is lethal in mice by 60–75 days. Expression of TEL-Syk induces a short-lived myeloexpansion that is rapidly followed by bone marrow failure and extreme splenic/hepatic fibrosis accompanied by extensive apoptosis. The disease is dependent on Syk kinase activity. Analysis of serum from TEL-Syk mice reveals an inflammatory cytokine signature reminiscent of that found in the sera from patients and mouse models of myeloproliferative neoplasms. TEL-Syk expressing cells showed constitutive STAT5 phosphorylation, which was resistant to JAK inhibition, consistent with deregulated cytokine signaling. These data indicate that expression of TEL-Syk in fetal liver hematopoietic cells results in JAK-independent STAT5 phosphorylation ultimately leading to a uniquely aggressive and lethal form of myelofibrosis.
Leptin is an adipokine that is thought to be important in many inflammatory diseases, and is known to influence the function of several leukocyte types. However, no clear consensus is present regarding the responsiveness of neutrophils for this adipokine. In this study a 2D DIGE proteomics approach was used as an unbiased approach to identify leptin-induced effects on neutrophils. Additionally chemotaxis and survival experiments were performed to reproduce results from literature showing putative effects of leptin on these neutrophil responses. Leptin did not induce any significant changes in the proteome provided leptin was added at physiologically relevant concentrations (250 ng). Our leptin batches were biologically active as they induced proliferation in LeptinR expressing Ba/F3 cells. At high concentrations (25000 ng) leptin induced a change in neutrophil proteome. Seventeen differently regulated spots were identified of which twelve could be characterized by mass spectrometry. Two of these identified proteins, SerpinB1 and p40 phox, were chosen for further analysis but leptin-induced expression analyzed by western blot were highly variable. Additionally leptin also induced neutrophil survival at these high concentrations. No leptin-induced chemotaxis of human neutrophils was detected at any concentration. In conclusion, physiological concentrations of leptin do not affect neutrophils. High leptin concentrations induced survival and changes in the neutrophils proteome, but this was most likely mediated by an indirect effect. However, it cannot be ruled out that the effects were mediated by a yet not-identified leptin receptor on human neutrophils.
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease regulated by infiltrating monocytes and T cells, among other cell types. Macrophage recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions is controlled by monocyte infiltration into plaques. Once in the lesion, macrophage proliferation in situ, apoptosis, and differentiation to an inflammatory (M1) or anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2) are involved in progression to advanced atherosclerotic lesions. We studied the role of phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) p110γ in the regulation of in situ apoptosis, macrophage proliferation and polarization towards M1 or M2 phenotypes in atherosclerotic lesions. We analyzed atherosclerosis development in LDLR−/−p110γ+/− and LDLR−/−p110γ−/− mice, and performed expression and functional assays in tissues and primary cells from these and from p110γ+/− and p110γ−/− mice. Lack of p110γ in LDLR−/− mice reduces the atherosclerosis burden. Atherosclerotic lesions in fat-fed LDLR−/−p110γ−/− mice were smaller than in LDLR−/−p110γ+/− controls, which coincided with decreased macrophage proliferation in LDLR−/−p110γ−/− mouse lesions. This proliferation defect was also observed in p110γ−/− bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) stimulated with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), and was associated with higher intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. In contrast, T cell proliferation was unaffected in LDLR−/−p110γ−/− mice. Moreover, p110γ deficiency did not affect macrophage polarization towards the M1 or M2 phenotypes or apoptosis in atherosclerotic plaques, or polarization in cultured BMM. Our results suggest that higher cAMP levels and the ensuing inhibition of macrophage proliferation contribute to atheroprotection in LDLR−/− mice lacking p110γ. Nonetheless, p110γ deletion does not appear to be involved in apoptosis, in macrophage polarization or in T cell proliferation.
Competing positive and negative signaling feedback pathways play a critical role in tuning the sensitivity of T cell receptor activation by creating an ultrasensitive, bistable switch to selectively enhance responses to foreign ligands while suppressing signals from self peptides. In response to T cell receptor agonist engagement, ERK is activated to positively regulate T cell receptor signaling through phosphorylation of Ser59 Lck. To obtain a wide-scale view of the role of ERK in propagating T cell receptor signaling, a quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of 322 tyrosine phosphorylation sites by mass spectrometry was performed on the human Jurkat T cell line in the presence of U0126, an inhibitor of ERK activation. Relative to controls, U0126-treated cells showed constitutive decreases in phosphorylation through a T cell receptor stimulation time course on tyrosine residues found on upstream signaling proteins (CD3 chains, Lck, ZAP-70), as well as downstream signaling proteins (VAV1, PLCγ1, Itk, NCK1). Additional constitutive decreases in phosphorylation were found on the majority of identified proteins implicated in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton pathway. Although the majority of identified sites on T cell receptor signaling proteins showed decreases in phosphorylation, Tyr598 of ZAP-70 showed elevated phosphorylation in response to U0126 treatment, suggesting differential regulation of this site via ERK feedback. These findings shed new light on ERK’s role in positive feedback in T cell receptor signaling and reveal novel signaling events that are regulated by this kinase, which may fine tune T cell receptor activation.
The GPCR-activated PI3Kγ is also a key enzyme downstream of the IgE high affinity receptor FcεRI. PKCβ-dependent phosphorylation of PI3Kγ on Ser582 is the ‘missing link’ that functions as a molecular switch to divert PI3Kγ from GPCR inputs.
All class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) associate tightly with regulatory subunits through interactions that have been thought to be constitutive. PI3Kγ is key to the regulation of immune cell responses activated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Remarkably we find that PKCβ phosphorylates Ser582 in the helical domain of the PI3Kγ catalytic subunit p110γ in response to clustering of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) and/or store-operated Ca2+- influx in mast cells. Phosphorylation of p110γ correlates with the release of the p84 PI3Kγ adapter subunit from the p84-p110γ complex. Ser582 phospho-mimicking mutants show increased p110γ activity and a reduced binding to the p84 adapter subunit. As functional p84-p110γ is key to GPCR-mediated p110γ signaling, this suggests that PKCβ-mediated p110γ phosphorylation disconnects PI3Kγ from its canonical inputs from trimeric G proteins, and enables p110γ to operate downstream of Ca2+ and PKCβ. Hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry shows that the p84 adaptor subunit interacts with the p110γ helical domain, and reveals an unexpected mechanism of PI3Kγ regulation. Our data show that the interaction of p110γ with its adapter subunit is vulnerable to phosphorylation, and outline a novel level of PI3K control.
Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are involved in most essential cellular processes. Class I PI3Ks are heterodimers: class IA PI3Ks are made up of one of a group of regulatory p85-like subunits and one p110α, p110β, or p110δ catalytic p110 subunit, and are activated via binding of their p85 subunit to phosphorylated tyrosine receptors or their substrates. The only, class IB PI3K member, PI3Kγ, operates downstream of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Recent work suggested that PI3Kγ also operates downstream of IgE-antigen complexes in mast cell activation, but no mechanism was provided. We show that clustering of the high-affinity IgE receptor FcεRI triggers a massive calcium ion influx, which leads to PKCβ activation. In turn, PKCβ phosphorylates Ser582 of the PI3Kγ catalytic p110γ subunit's helical domain. Downstream of GPCRs, p110γ requires a p84 adapter to be functional. Phospho-mimicking mutations at Ser582 disrupt the p84-p110γ interaction, and cellular Ser582 phosphorylation correlates with the loss of p84 from p110γ. Thus our data suggest that PKCβ phosphorylates and activates p110γ downstream of calcium ion influx, while simultaneously disconnecting the phosphorylated p110γ from GPCR signaling. Exploration of the p84-p110γ interaction surface by hydrogen- deuterium exchange mass spectrometry confirmed that the p110γ helical domain forms the main p84-p110γ contact surface. Taken together, the results suggest an unprecedented mechanism of PI3Kγ regulation.
The PI3-kinase pathway is commonly activated in tumors, most often by loss of PTEN lipid phosphatase activity or the amplification or mutation of p110α. Oncogenic mutants have commonly been found in p110α, but rarely in any of the other catalytic subunits of class I PI3-kinases. We here characterize a p110β helical domain mutation, E633K, first identified in a Her2-positive breast cancer. The mutation increases basal p110β activity, but does not affect activation of p85/p110β dimers by phosphopeptides or Gβγ. Expression of the mutant causes increases in Akt and S6K1 activation, transformation, chemotaxis, proliferation and survival in low serum. E633 is conserved among class I PI3 Ks, and its mutation in p110β is also activating. Interestingly, the E633K mutant occurs near a region that interacts with membranes in activated PI 3-kinases, and its mutation abrogates the requirement for an intact Ras-binding domain in p110β-mediated transformation. We propose that the E633K mutant activates p110β by enhancing its basal association with membranes. This study presents the first analysis of an activating oncogenic mutation of p110β.
Tumor inflammation, the recruitment of myeloid lineage cells into the tumor microenvironment, promotes angiogenesis, immunosuppression and metastasis. CD11b+Gr1lo monocytic lineage cells and CD11b+Gr1hi granulocytic lineage cells are recruited from the circulation by tumor-derived chemoattractants, which stimulate PI3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ)-mediated integrin α4 activation and extravasation. We show here that PI3Kγ activates PLCγ, leading to RasGrp/CalDAG-GEF-I&II mediated, Rap1a-dependent activation of integrin α4β1, extravasation of monocytes and granulocytes, and inflammation-associated tumor progression. Genetic depletion of PLCγ, CalDAG-GEFI or II, Rap1a, or the Rap1 effector RIAM was sufficient to prevent integrin α4 activation by chemoattractants or activated PI3Kγ (p110γCAAX), while activated Rap (RapV12) promoted constitutive integrin activation and cell adhesion that could only be blocked by inhibition of RIAM or integrin α4β1. Similar to blockade of PI3Kγ or integrin α4β1, blockade of Rap1a suppressed both the recruitment of monocytes and granulocytes to tumors and tumor progression. These results demonstrate critical roles for a PI3Kγ-Rap1a-dependent pathway in integrin activation during tumor inflammation and suggest novel avenues for cancer therapy.
Agonistic antibodies targeting TRAIL-receptors 1 and 2 (TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2) are being developed as a novel therapeutic approach in cancer therapy including pancreatic cancer. However, the cellular distribution of these receptors in primary pancreatic cancer samples has not been sufficiently investigated and no study has yet addressed the issue of their prognostic significance in this tumor entity.
Aims and Methods
Applying tissue microarray (TMA) analysis, we performed an immunohistochemical assessment of TRAIL-receptors in surgical samples from 84 consecutive patients affected by pancreatic adenocarcinoma and in 26 additional selected specimens from patients with no lymph nodes metastasis at the time of surgery. The prognostic significance of membrane staining and staining intensity for TRAIL-receptors was evaluated.
The fraction of pancreatic cancer samples with positive membrane staining for TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2 was lower than that of cells from surrounding non-tumor tissues (TRAIL-R1: p<0.001, TRAIL-R2: p = 0.006). In addition, subgroup analyses showed that loss of membrane staining for TRAIL-R2 was associated with poorer prognosis in patients without nodal metastases (multivariate Cox regression analysis, Hazard Ratio: 0.44 [95% confidence interval: 0.22−0.87]; p = 0.019). In contrast, analysis of decoy receptors TRAIL-R3 and -R4 in tumor samples showed an exclusively cytoplasmatic staining pattern and no prognostic relevance.
This is a first report on the prognostic significance of TRAIL-receptors expression in pancreatic cancer showing that TRAIL-R2 might represent a prognostic marker for patients with early stage disease. In addition, our data suggest that loss of membrane-bound TRAIL-receptors could represent a molecular mechanism for therapeutic failure upon administration of TRAIL-receptors-targeting antibodies in pancreatic cancer. This hypothesis should be evaluated in future clinical trials.
Astrocytes are essential for proper central nervous system (CNS) function and are intricately involved in neuroinflammation. Despite evidence that immune-activated astrocytes contribute to many CNS pathologies, little is known about the inflammatory pathways controlling gene expression. Our laboratory identified altered levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 in brain lysates from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infected patients, compared to age-matched controls, and interleukin (IL)-1β as a key regulator of astrocyte TIMP-1. Additionally, CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)β levels are elevated in brain specimens from HIV-1 patients and the transcription factor contributes to astrocyte TIMP-1 expression. In this report we sought to identify key signaling pathways necessary for IL-1β-mediated astrocyte TIMP-1 expression and their interaction with C/EBPβ. Primary human astrocytes were cultured and treated with mitogen activated protein kinase-selective small molecule inhibitors, and IL-1β. TIMP-1 and C/EBPβ mRNA and protein expression were evaluated at 12 and 24 h post-treatment, respectively. TIMP-1 promoter-driven luciferase plasmids were used to evaluate TIMP-1 promoter activity in inhibitor-treated astrocytes. These data show that extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2-selective inhibitors block IL-1β-induced astrocyte TIMP-1 expression, but did not decrease C/EBPβ expression in parallel. The p38 kinase (p38K) inhibitors partially blocked both IL-1β-induced astrocyte TIMP-1 expression and C/EBPβ expression. The ERK1/2-selective inhibitor abrogated IL-1β-mediated increases in TIMP-1 promoter activity. Our data demonstrate that ERK1/2 activation is critical for IL-1β-mediated astrocyte TIMP-1 expression. ERK1/2-selective inhibition may elicit a compensatory response in the form of enhanced IL-1β-mediated astrocyte C/EBPβ expression, or, alternatively, ERK1/2 signaling may function to moderate IL-1β-mediated astrocyte C/EBPβ expression. Furthermore, p38K activation contributes to IL-1β-induced astrocyte TIMP-1 and C/EBPβ expression. These data suggest that ERK1/2 signals downstream of C/EBPβ to facilitate IL-1β-induced astrocyte TIMP-1 expression. Astrocyte ERK1/2 and p38K signaling may serve as therapeutic targets for manipulating CNS TIMP-1 and C/EBPβ levels, respectively.
Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is a member of the epidermal growth factor family. The membrane-bound proHB-EGF is known to be a precursor of the soluble form of HB-EGF (sHB-EGF), which promotes cell proliferation and survival. While the functions of sHB-EGF have been extensively studied, it is not yet fully understood if proHB-EGF is also involved in cellular signaling events. In this study, we utilized the anti-HB-EGF monoclonal antibodies Y-142 and Y-073, which have differential specificities toward proHB-EGF, in order to elucidate proHB-EGF functions in cancer cells.
The biological activities of proHB-EGF were assessed in cell proliferation, caspase activation, and juxtacrine activity assays by using a 3D spheroid culture of NUGC-3 cells.
Y-142 and Y-073 exhibited similar binding and neutralizing activities for sHB-EGF. However, only Y-142 bound to proHB-EGF. We could detect the function of endogenously expressed proHB-EGF in a 3D spheroid culture. Blocking proHB-EGF with Y-142 reduced spheroid formation, suppressed cell proliferation, and increased caspase activation in the 3D spheroid culture of NUGC-3 cells.
Our results show that proHB-EGF acts as a cell proliferation and cell survival factor in cancer cells. The results suggest that proHB-EGF may play an important role in tumor progression.
Loss of cardiac myocytes due to apoptosis is a relevant feature of ischemic heart disease. It has been described in infarct and peri-infarct regions of the myocardium in coronary syndromes and in ischemia-linked heart remodeling. Previous studies have provided protection against ischemia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis by the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 receptor-antagonist (IL-1Ra). Mitochondria triggering of caspases plays a central role in ischemia-induced apoptosis. We examined the production of IL-1Ra in the ischemic heart and, based on dual intra/extracellular function of some other interleukins, we hypothesized that IL-1Ra may also directly inhibit mitochondria-activated caspases and cardiomyocyte apoptosis.
Synthesis of IL-1Ra was evidenced in the hearts explanted from patients with ischemic heart disease. In the mouse ischemic heart and in a mouse cardiomyocyte cell line exposed to long-lasting hypoxia, IL-1Ra bound and inhibited mitochondria-activated caspases, whereas inhibition of caspase activation was not observed in the heart of mice lacking IL-1Ra (Il-1ra−/−) or in siRNA to IL-1Ra-interfered cells. An impressive 6-fold increase of hypoxia-induced apoptosis was observed in cells lacking IL-1Ra. IL-1Ra down-regulated cells were not protected against caspase activation and apoptosis by knocking down of the IL-1 receptor, confirming the intracellular, receptor-independent, anti-apoptotic function of IL-1Ra. Notably, the inhibitory effect of IL-1Ra was not influenced by enduring ischemic conditions in which previously described physiologic inhibitors of apoptosis are neutralized.
These observations point to intracellular IL-1Ra as a critical mechanism of the cell self-protection against ischemia-induced apoptosis and suggest that this cytokine plays an important role in the remodeling of heart by promoting survival of cardiomyocytes in the ischemic regions.
The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway regulates several cellular processes and it’s one of the most frequently deregulated pathway in human tumors. Given its prominent role in cancer, there is great interest in the development of inhibitors able to target several members of PI3K signaling pathway in clinical trials. These drug candidates include PI3K inhibitors, both pan- and isoform-specific inhibitors, AKT, mTOR, and dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. As novel compounds progress into clinical trials, it’s becoming urgent to identify and select patient population that most likely benefit from PI3K inhibition. In this review we will discuss individual PIK3CA mutations as predictors of sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies, leading to use of novel PI3K/mTOR/AKT inhibitors to a more “personalized” treatment.
PI3K; cancer; therapeutics; genetic determinants; class II phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase
Autoantibodies against the second extracellular loop of the β1-adrenergic receptor (β1-AA) not only contribute to increased susceptibility to heart failure, but also play a causative role in myocardial remodeling through their sympathomimetic-like effects that are induced upon binding to the β1-adrenergic receptor. However, their role in the function of T lymphocytes has never been previously investigated. Our present study was designed to determine whether β1-AA isolated from the sera of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) patients caused the proliferation of T cells and the secretion of cytokines.
Blood samples were collected from 95 DCM patients as well as 95 healthy subjects, and β1-AA was detected using ELISA. The CD3+T lymphocytes were selected separately through flow cytometry and the effect of β1-AA on T lymphocyte proliferation was examined by CCK-8 kits and CFSE assay. Western blotting was used to analyze the expressions of phospho-VASP and phospho-p38 MAPK.
β1-AA enhanced the proliferation of T lymphocytes. This effect could be blocked by the selective β1-adrenergic receptor antagonist metoprolol, PKA inhibitor H89, and p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. Furthermore, the expression of the phosphorylated forms of phospho-VASP and phospho-p38 MAPK were markedly increased in the presence of β1-AA. β1-AA also inhibited the secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) while promoting an increase in interleukin-4 (IL-4) levels.
These results demonstrate that β1-AA isolated from DCM patients binds to β1-AR on the surface of T cells, causing changes in T-cell proliferation and secretion through the β1-AR/cAMP/PKA and p38 MAPK pathways.
The ability to perceive noxious stimuli is critical for an animal's survival in the face of environmental danger, and thus pain perception is likely to be under stringent evolutionary pressure. Using a neuronal-specific RNAi knock-down strategy in adult Drosophila, we recently completed a genome-wide functional annotation of heat nociception that allowed us to identify α2δ3 as a novel pain gene. Here we report construction of an evolutionary-conserved, system-level, global molecular pain network map. Our systems map is markedly enriched for multiple genes associated with human pain and predicts a plethora of novel candidate pain pathways. One central node of this pain network is phospholipid signaling, which has been implicated before in pain processing. To further investigate the role of phospholipid signaling in mammalian heat pain perception, we analysed the phenotype of PIP5Kα and PI3Kγ mutant mice. Intriguingly, both of these mice exhibit pronounced hypersensitivity to noxious heat and capsaicin-induced pain, which directly mapped through PI3Kγ kinase-dead knock-in mice to PI3Kγ lipid kinase activity. Using single primary sensory neuron recording, PI3Kγ function was mechanistically linked to a negative regulation of TRPV1 channel transduction. Our data provide a systems map for heat nociception and reinforces the extraordinary conservation of molecular mechanisms of nociception across different species.
Nociception is the perception of noxious, potentially damaging stimuli; and this pain or its equivalent behavioral readout is evolutionarily conserved from fruit flies to humans. Using genetic techniques in the fruit fly, we have been able to evaluate the potential functional contribution of every gene in the fruit fly genome for a role in avoidance of high noxious temperatures (heat pain-like responses). Using this functional genomics data set, we have developed a conserved network map of heat pain/nociception that predicts numerous conserved genes and pathways as novel pain pathways, including phospholipid signaling. Studies in multiple mutant mice confirmed a role for lipid signaling in pain perception, and more specifically we identify the critical lipid kinase (PI3Kγ) as a negative regulator of TRPV1 (receptor for noxious heat and capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers) signaling. This finding shows that our fly-based genetic pain network map is a valuable tool for the discovery of novel “nociception genes” in mammals.
It has been reported that cardiac ankyrin repeat protein is associated with heart development and diseases. This study is aimed to investigate the role of CARP in heart hypertrophy in vivo.
Methods and Results
We generated a cardiac-specific CARP-overexpressing transgenic mouse. Although such animals did not display any overt physiological abnormality, they developed less cardiac hypertrophy in response to pressure overload than did wildtype mice, as indicated by heart weight/body weight ratios, echocardiographic and histological analyses, and expression of hypertrophic markers. These mice also exhibited less cardiac hypertrophy after infusion of isoproterenol. To gain a molecular insight into how CARP attenuated heart hypertrophy, we examined expression of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade and found that the concentrations of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and MEK were markedly reduced in the hearts of transgenic mice subjected to pressure overload. In addition, the expressions of TGF-β and phosphorylated Smad3 were significantly downregulated in the hearts of CARP Tg mice in response to pressure overload. Furthermore, addition of human TGF-β1 could reverse the inhibitory effect of CARP on the hypertrophic response induced by phenylephrine in cardiomyocytes. It was also evidenced that the inhibitory effect of CARP on cardiac hypertrophy was not attributed to apoptosis.
CARP attenuates cardiac hypertrophy, in which the ERK and TGF-β pathways may be involved. Our findings highlight the significance of CARP as an anti-hypertrophic factor in therapy of cardiac hypertrophy.
Spatial and temporal organization of signal transduction is coordinated through the segregation of signaling enzymes in selected cellular compartments. This highly evolved regulatory mechanism ensures the activation of selected enzymes only in the vicinity of their target proteins. In this context, cAMP-responsive triggering of protein kinase A is modulated by a family of scaffold proteins referred to as A-kinase anchoring proteins. A-kinase anchoring proteins form the core of multiprotein complexes and enable simultaneous but segregated cAMP signaling events to occur in defined cellular compartments. In this review we will focus on the description of A-kinase anchoring protein function in the regulation of cardiac physiopathology.
AKAP; PKA; cAMP; cardiac disease
The discovery of the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor GPER (also GPR30) and the resulting development of selective chemical probes have revealed new aspects of estrogen receptor biology. The potential clinical relevance of this receptor has been suggested from numerous studies that have identified GPER expression in breast, endometrial, ovarian and other cancers. Thus GPER can be considered a candidate biomarker and target for non-invasive imaging and therapy. We have designed and synthesized a series of organometallic tricarbonyl-rhenium complexes conjugated to a GPER-selective small molecule derived from tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline. The activity and selectivity of these chelates in GPER-mediated signaling pathways were evaluated. These results demonstrate that GPER targeting characteristics depend strongly on the structure of the chelate and linkage. Ethanone conjugates functioned as agonists, a 1,2,3-triazole spacer yielded an antagonist, and derivatives with increased steric volume exhibited decreased activities. Promising GPER selectivity was observed, as none of the complexes interacted with the nuclear estrogen receptors. Radiolabeling with technetium-99m in aqueous media was efficient and gave radioligands with high radiochemical yields and purity. These chelates have favorable physicochemical properties, show excellent stability in biologically relevant media, exhibit receptor specificity and are promising candidates for continuing development as diagnostic imaging agents targeting GPER expression in cancer.
Increasing evidence indicates that the rapid component of delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) is modulated by α- and β-adrenergic stimulation. However, the role and mechanism regulating IKr through β2-adrenoreceptor (β-AR) stimulation in heart failure (HF) are unclear.
In the present study, we investigated the effects of fenoterol, a highly selective β2-AR agonist, on IKr in left ventricular myocytes obtained from control and guinea pigs with HF induced by descending aortic banding. IKr was measured by using whole cell patch clamp technique. In control myocytes, superfusion of fenoterol (10 µM) caused a 17% decrease in IKr. In HF myocytes, the same concentration of fenoterol produced a significantly greater decrease (33%) in IKr. These effects were not modified by the incubation of myocytes with CGP-20712A, a β1-AR antagonist, but were abolished by pretreatment of myocytes with ICI-118551, a β2-AR antagonist. An inhibitory cAMP analog, Rp-cAMPS and PKA inhibitor significantly attenuated fenoterol-induced inhibition of IKr in HF myocytes. Moreover, fenoterol markedly prolonged action potential durations at 90% (APD90) repolarization in HF ventricular myocytes.
The results indicate that inhibition of IKr induced by β2-AR stimulation is increased in HF. The inhibitory effect is likely to be mediated through a cAMP/PKA pathway in HF ventricular myocytes.
Dendritic cells play a central role in keeping the balance between immunity and immune tolerance. A key factor in this equilibrium is the lifespan of DC, as its reduction restrains antigen availability leading to termination of immune responses. Here we show that lipopolysaccharide-driven DC maturation is paralleled by increased nuclear levels of p50 NF-κB, an event associated with DC apoptosis. Lack of p50 in murine DC promoted increased lifespan, enhanced level of maturation associated with increased expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-18 and IFN-β, enhanced capacity of activating and expanding CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vivo and decreased ability to induce differentiation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells. In agreement, vaccination of melanoma-bearing mice with antigen-pulsed LPS-treated p50−/− BM-DC boosted antitumor immunity and inhibition of tumor growth. We propose that nuclear accumulation of the p50 NF-κB subunit in DC, as occurring during lipopolysaccharide-driven maturation, is a homeostatic mechanism tuning the balance between uncontrolled activation of adaptive immunity and immune tolerance.
The Raf-MEK1/2-ERK1/2 (ERK1/2—extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2) signalling cascade is crucial in triggering cardiac responses to different stress stimuli. Scaffold proteins are key elements in coordinating signalling molecules for their appropriate spatiotemporal activation. Here, we investigated the role of IQ motif-containing GTPase-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1), a scaffold for the ERK1/2 cascade, in heart function and remodelling in response to pressure overload.
Methods and results
IQGAP1-null mice have unaltered basal heart function. When subjected to pressure overload, IQGAP1-null mice initially develop a compensatory hypertrophy indistinguishable from that of wild-type (WT) mice. However, upon a prolonged stimulus, the hypertrophic response develops towards a thinning of left ventricular walls, chamber dilation, and a decrease in contractility, in an accelerated fashion compared with WT mice. This unfavourable cardiac remodelling is characterized by blunted reactivation of the foetal gene programme, impaired cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Analysis of signalling pathways revealed two temporally distinct waves of both ERK1/2 and AKT phosphorylation peaking, respectively, at 10 min and 4 days after aortic banding in WT hearts. IQGAP1-null mice show strongly impaired phosphorylation of MEK1/2-ERK1/2 and AKT following 4 days of pressure overload, but normal activation of these kinases after 10 min. Pull-down experiments indicated that IQGAP1 is able to bind the three components of the ERK cascade, namely c-Raf, MEK1/2, and ERK1/2, as well as AKT in the heart.
These data demonstrate, for the first time, a key role for the scaffold protein IQGAP1 in integrating hypertrophy and survival signals in the heart and regulating long-term left ventricle remodelling upon pressure overload.
IQGAP1; MAPKs; AKT; Heart hypertrophy; Pressure overload
CCRL2 is a heptahelic transmembrane receptor that shows the highest degree of homology with CCR1, an inflammatory chemokine receptor. CCRL2 mRNA was rapidly (30 min) and transiently (2-4 hrs) regulated during dendritic cell (DC) maturation. Protein expression paralleled RNA regulation. In vivo, CCRL2 was expressed by activated DC and macrophages, but not by eosinophils and T cells. CCRL2−/− mice showed normal recruitment of circulating DC into the lung but a defective trafficking of antigen-loaded lung DC to mediastinal lymph nodes. This defect was associated to a reduction in lymph node cellularity and reduced priming of Th2 response. CCRL2−/− mice were protected in a model of OVA-induced airway inflammation with reduced leukocyte recruitment in the BAL (eosinophils and mononuclear cells) and reduced production of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 and chemokines CCL11 and CCL17. The central role of CCRL2 deficiency in DC was supported by the fact that adoptive transfer of CCRL2−/− antigen-loaded DC in wild type animals recapitulated the phenotype observed in knock out mice. These data show a nonredundant role of CCRL2 in lung DC trafficking and propose a role for this receptor in the control of excessive airway inflammatory responses.
Tumor inflammation promotes angiogenesis, immunosuppression and tumor growth, but the mechanisms controlling inflammatory cell recruitment to tumors are not well understood. We found that a range of chemoattractants activating G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and Toll-like/IL-1 receptors (TLR/IL1Rs) unexpectedly initiate tumor inflammation by activating the PI3-kinase isoform p110γ in Gr1+CD11b+ myeloid cells. Whereas GPCRs activate p110γ in a Ras/p101 dependent manner, RTKs and TLR/IL1Rs directly activate p110γ in a Ras/p87-dependent manner. Once activated, p110γ promotes inside-out activation of a single integrin, α4β1, causing myeloid cell invasion into tumors. Pharmacological or genetic blockade of p110γ suppressed inflammation, growth and metastasis of implanted and spontaneous tumors, revealing an important therapeutic target in oncology.
Angioproliferative tumors induced by the Kaposi’s Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) have been successfully treated with rapamycin, which provided direct evidence of the clinical activity of mTOR inhibitors in human malignancies. However, prolonged mTOR inhibition may raise concerns in immunocompromised patients, including AIDS-KS. Here, we explored whether KSHV-oncogenes deploy cell-type specific signaling pathways activating mTOR, which could be exploited to halt KS development while minimizing immune suppressive effects. We found that PI3Kγ, a PI3K isoform exhibiting restricted tissue distribution, is strictly required for signaling from the KSHV-encoded vGPCR oncogene to Akt/mTOR. Indeed, by using an endothelial-specific gene delivery system modeling KS development, we provide genetic and pharmacological evidence that PI3Kγ may represent a suitable molecular target for therapeutic intervention in KS.
Adrenergic stimulation of the heart engages cAMP and phosphoinositide second messenger signaling cascades. Cardiac phosphoinositide 3-kinase p110γ participates in these processes by sustaining β-adrenergic receptor internalization through its catalytic function and by controlling phosphodiesterase 3B (PDE3B) activity via an unknown kinase-independent mechanism. We have discovered that p110γ anchors protein kinase A (PKA) through a site in its N-terminal region. Anchored PKA activates PDE3B to enhance cAMP degradation and phosphorylates p110γ to inhibit PIP3 production. This provides local feedback control of PIP3 and cAMP signaling events. In congestive heart failure, p110γ is upregulated and escapes PKA-mediated inhibition, contributing to a reduction in β-adrenergic receptor density. Pharmacological inhibition of p110γ normalizes β-adrenergic receptor density and improves contractility in failing hearts.
In the absence of p110β function, spermatogenesis is dramatically disturbed because of a progressive reduction of differentiating spermatogones. Genetically modified mice and pharmacological inhibition of p110β confirmed this enzyme as the main PI3K isoform activated downstream of c-Kit.
Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) are key molecular players in male fertility. However, the specific roles of different p110 PI3K catalytic subunits within the spermatogenic lineage have not been characterized so far. Herein, we report that male mice expressing a catalytically inactive p110β develop testicular hypotrophy and impaired spermatogenesis, leading to a phenotype of oligo-azoospermia and defective fertility. The examination of testes from p110β-defective tubules demonstrates a widespread loss in spermatogenic cells, due to defective proliferation and survival of pre- and postmeiotic cells. In particular, p110β is crucially needed in c-Kit–mediated spermatogonial expansion, as c-Kit–positive cells are lost in the adult testis and activation of Akt by SCF is blocked by a p110β inhibitor. These data establish that activation of the p110β PI3K isoform by c-Kit is required during spermatogenesis, thus opening the way to new treatments for c-Kit positive testicular cancers.