The tumor suppressive activity of FOXP3 has been observed in tumor initiation, but the underlying mechanism still remains largely unknown. Here, we identified a FOXP3-microRNA-146 (miR-146)-NF-κB axis in vitro and in vivo in prostate cancer cells. We observed that FOXP3 dramatically induced the expression of miR-146a/b, which contributed to transcriptional inhibition of IRAK1 and TRAF6, in prostate cancer cell lines. Tissue-specific deletion of Foxp3 in mouse prostate caused a significant reduction of miR-146a and upregulation of NF-κB activation. In addition, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia lesions were observed in miR-146a mutant mice as well as in Foxp3 mutant mice. Notably, the NF-κB inhibitor bortezomib inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in prostate epithelial cells, attenuating prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia formation in Foxp3 mutant mice. Our data suggest that the FOXP3-miR-146-NF-κB axis has a functional role during tumor initiation in prostate cancer. Targeting the miR-146-NF-κB axis may provide a new therapeutic approach for prostate cancers with FOXP3 defects.
FOXP3; microRNA; NF-κB; prostate cancer; therapy
FOXP3 functions not only as the master regulator in regulatory T cells but also as an X-linked tumor suppressor. The tumor suppressive activity of FOXP3 has been observed in tumor initiation, but its role during tumor progression remains controversial. Moreover, the mechanism of FOXP3-mediated tumor suppressive activity remains largely unknown. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, we identified a series of potential FOXP3-targeted microRNAs (miRs) in MCF7 cells. Notably, FOXP3 significantly induced the expression of miR-146a/b. In vitro, FOXP3-induced miR-146a/b prevented tumor cell proliferation and enhanced apoptosis. Functional analyses in vitro and in vivo revealed that FOXP3-induced miR-146a/b negatively regulate NF-κB activation by inhibiting the expression of IRAK1 and TRAF6. In chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, FOXP3 directly bound the promoter region of miR-146a but not of miR-146b, and FOXP3 interacted directly with NF-κB p65 to regulate an miR-146-NF-κB negative feedback regulation loop in normal breast epithelial and tumor cells, as demonstrated with luciferase reporter assays. Although FOXP3 significantly inhibited breast tumor growth and migration in vitro and metastasis in vivo, FOXP3-induced miR-146a/b contributed only to the inhibition of breast tumor growth. These data suggest that miR-146a/b contribute to FOXP3-mediated tumor suppression during tumor growth by triggering apoptosis. The identification of a FOXP3-miR-146-NF-κB axis provides an underlying mechanism for disruption of miR-146 family member expression and constitutive NF-κB activation in breast cancer cells. Linking the tumor suppressor function of FOXP3 to NF-κB activation reveals a potential therapeutic approach for cancers with FOXP3 defects.
FOXP3; microRNA; NF-κB; breast cancer
Yak domestication represents an important episode in the early human occupation of the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). The precise timing of domestication is debated and little is known about the underlying genetic changes that occurred during the process. Here we investigate genome variation of wild and domestic yaks. We detect signals of selection in 209 genes of domestic yaks, several of which relate to behaviour and tameness. We date yak domestication to 7,300 years before present (yr BP), most likely by nomadic people, and an estimated sixfold increase in yak population size by 3,600 yr BP. These dates coincide with two early human population expansions on the QTP during the early-Neolithic age and the late-Holocene, respectively. Our findings add to an understanding of yak domestication and its importance in the early human occupation of the QTP.
Based on whole genome resequencing of more than 80 wild and domestic yaks from high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, this study recovers demographic and genetic processes underlying the domestication of this animal. Qiu et al. also identify genes and associated pathways as candidates for selection during the domestication process.
CD24 is over-expressed in nearly 70% human cancers while TP53 is the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor gene that functions in a context-dependent manner. Here we show that both targeted mutation and shRNA silencing of CD24 retard the growth, progression, and metastasis of prostate cancer. CD24 competitively inhibits ARF binding to NPM, resulting in decreased ARF, increase MDM2, and decrease levels of p53 and the p53 target p21/CDKN1A. CD24 silencing prevents functional inactivation of p53 by both somatic mutation and viral oncogenes, including the SV40 large T antigen and human papilloma virus 16 E6-antigen. In support of the functional interaction between CD24 and p53, in silico analyses reveal that TP53 mutates at a higher rate among glioma and prostate cancer samples with higher CD24 mRNA levels. These data provide a general mechanism for functional inactivation of ARF and reveal an important cellular context for genetic and viral inactivation of TP53.
ARF; p53; CD24; tumor suppression
The FOXP3 gene was initially identified because its mutation caused lethal autoimmune diseases in mouse and human. Mice with heterozygous mutation of Foxp3 succumb to mammary tumor spontaneously, while those with prostate-specific deletion develop prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. Somatic mutations, deletion and epigenetic inactivation of FOXP3 are widespread among human breast and prostate cancers. Unlike autosomal tumor suppressor genes that were usually inactivated by mutations in both alleles, X-linked FOXP3 mutations in cancer samples are usually heterozygous. The unique inheritance suggests a new approach to reactivation FOXP3 for cancer therapy.
FOXP3; Tumor suppressor gene; Human cancer; X-linked gene; X-chromosome inactivation
Organisms living at high altitudes must overcome three major environmental challenges: hypoxia, cold, and intense UV radiation. The molecular mechanisms that enable these challenges to be overcome have mainly been studied in endothermic organisms; relatively little attention has been paid to poikilothermic species. Here, we present deep transcriptome sequencing in two closely related lizards, the high altitude-dwelling Phrynocephalus erythrurus and the lowland-dwelling P. putjatia, to identify candidate genes under positive selection and to explore the convergent evolutionary adaptation of poikilothermic animals to high altitude life.
More than 70 million sequence reads were generated for each species via Illumina sequencing. De novo assembly produced 56,845 and 63,140 transcripts for P. erythrurus and P. putjatia, respectively. P. erythrurus had higher Ka/Ks ratios than P. putjatia, implying an accelerated evolutionary rate in the high altitude lizard lineage. 206 gene ontology (GO) categories with accelerated evolutionary rates and 43 candidate positively selected genes were detected along the P. erythrurus lineage. Some of these GO categories have functions associated with responses to hypoxia, energy metabolism and responses to UV damage. We also found that the high-altitude ranid frog R. kukunoris had higher Ka/Ks ratios than the closely related low-altitude frog R. chensinensis, and that the functional categories with accelerated evolutionary rates in R. kukunoris overlapped extensively with those detected along the P. erythrurus lineage.
The mechanisms of high altitude adaptation in P. erythrurus were tentatively inferred. By comparing two pairs of low- and high-altitude poikilothermic species, we found that similar functional categories had undergone positive selection in high altitude-dwelling Phrynocephalus and Rana lineages, indicating that similar mechanisms of adaptation to high altitude might have evolved in both genera. Our findings provide important guidance for future functional studies on high altitude adaptation in poikilothermic animals.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0371-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lizard; High altitude adaptation; Positive selection; Accelerate evolutionary rate; Hypoxia; UV damage
Breast cancer (BC) is the second most common cancer diagnosed in American women and is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Research has focused heavily on BC metastasis. Multiple signaling pathways have been implicated in regulating BC metastasis. Our knowledge of regulation of BC metastasis is, however, far from complete. Identification of new factors during metastasis is an essential step towards future therapy. Our labs have focused on Semaphorin 6D (SEMA6D), which was implicated in immune responses, heart development, and neurogenesis. It will be interesting to know SEMA6D-related genomic expression profile and its implications in clinical outcome. In this study, we examined the public datasets of breast invasive carcinoma from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We analyzed the expression of SEMA6D along with its related genes, their functions, pathways, and potential as copredictors for BC patients' survival. We found 6-gene expression profile that can be used as such predictors. Our study provides evidences for the first time that breast invasive carcinoma may contain a subtype based on SEMA6D expression. The expression of SEMA6D gene may play an important role in promoting patient survival, especially among triple negative breast cancer patients.
In this review, we introduce the IPEX syndrome and its relationship with germline mutations of the FOXP3 gene. We then describe the multiple functional roles of FOXP3 in regulatory T cells and epithelial cells as well as in IPEX syndrome and tumor progression. Potential mechanisms of FOXP3 inactivation and transcriptional regulation are discussed with recent advances. Finally, we point out current issues and a potential FOXP3-mediated therapeutic strategy as well as the reactivation of FOXP3 in patients with IPEX syndrome and cancer.
IPEX; Syndrome; FOXP3; Cancer; Tumor suppressors
Cancer cells silence autosomal tumor suppressor genes by Knudson’s two-hit mechanism in which loss-of-function mutations and then loss of heterozygosity occur at the tumor suppressor gene loci. However, the identification of X-linked tumor suppressor genes has challenged the traditional theory of “two-hit inactivation” in tumor suppressor genes, introducing the novel concept that a single genetic hit can cause loss of tumor suppressor function. The mechanism through which these genes are silenced in human cancer is unclear, but elucidating the details will greatly enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of human cancer. Here, we review the identification of X-linked tumor suppressor genes and discuss the potential mechanisms of their inactivation. In addition, we also discuss how the identification of X-linked tumor suppressor genes can potentially lead to new approaches to cancer therapy.
X-linked genes; tumor suppressors; single-hit inactivation; X chromosome inactivation; cancer
CD24 is overexpressed in nearly 70% human cancers, whereas TP53 is the most frequently mutated tumour-suppressor gene that functions in a context-dependent manner. Here we show that both targeted mutation and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) silencing of CD24 retard the growth, progression and metastasis of prostate cancer. CD24 competitively inhibits ARF binding to NPM, resulting in decreased ARF, increase MDM2 and decrease levels of p53 and the p53 target p21/CDKN1A. CD24 silencing prevents functional inactivation of p53 by both somatic mutation and viral oncogenes, including the SV40 large T antigen and human papilloma virus 16 E6-antigen. In support of the functional interaction between CD24 and p53, in silico analyses reveal that TP53 mutates at a higher rate among glioma and prostate cancer samples with higher CD24 mRNA levels. These data provide a general mechanism for functional inactivation of ARF and reveal an important cellular context for genetic and viral inactivation of TP53.
P53 is a tumour suppressor that is frequently mutated or downregulated in cancer. Here, Wang et al. show that CD24, a molecule frequently overexpressed in cancer, promotes p53 degradation by disrupting a regulatory ARF–MDM2 interaction, and silencing CD24 prevents the downregulation of p53.
Rheum nobile is an alpine plant with translucent bracts concealing the inflorescence which produce a “glasshouse” effect promoting the development of fertile pollen grains in such conditions. The current understanding of the adaptation of such bracts to alpine environments mainly focuses on the phenotypic and physiological changes while the genetic basis is very limited. By sequencing the upper bract and the lower rosulate leaf from the same R. nobile stem, we identified candidate genes that may be involved in alpine adaption of the translucent bract in “glasshouse” plants and illustrated the changes in gene expression underlying the adaptive and complex evolution of the bracts phenotype.
A total of 174.2 million paired-end reads from each transcriptome were assembled into 25,249 unigenes. By comparing the gene expression profiles, we identified 1,063 and 786 genes up-regulated respectively in the upper bract and the lower leaf. Functional enrichment analyses of these genes recovered a number of differential important pathways, including flavonoid biosynthesis, mismatch repair and photosynthesis related pathways. These pathways are mainly involved in three types of functions: 9 genes in the UV protective process, 9 mismatch repair related genes and 88 genes associated with photosynthesis.
This study provides the first comprehensive dataset characterizing Rheum nobile gene expression at the transcriptomic scale, and provides novel insights into the gene expression profiles associated with the adaptation of the “glasshouse” plant bracts. The dataset will be served as a public genetic resources for further functional and evolutionary studies of “glasshouse” plants.
Transcription factor Forkhead Box Protein M1 (FOXM1) is a well-known master regulator in controlling cell-cycle pathways essential for DNA replication and mitosis, as well as cell proliferation. Among the three major isoforms of FOXM1, FOXM1B is highly associated with tumor growth and metastasis. The activities of FOXM1B are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as phosphorylation, but whether it is modified by small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) remains unknown. The aim of the current study was to determine whether FOXM1B is post-translationally modified by SUMO proteins and also to identify SUMOylation of FOXM1B on its target gene transcription activity. Here we report that FOXM1B is clearly defined as a SUMO target protein at the cellular levels. Moreover, a SUMOylation protease, SENP2, significantly decreased SUMOylation of FOXM1B. Notably, FOXM1B is selectively SUMOylated at lysine residue 463. While SUMOylation of FOXM1B is required for full repression of its target genes MiR-200b/c and p21, SUMOylation of FOXM1B is essential for full activation of JNK1 gene. Overall, we provide evidence that FOXM1B is post-translationally modified by SUMO and SUMOylation of FOXM1B plays a functional role in regulation of its target gene activities.
FOXM1; SUMOylation; transcriptional activity; MiR-200b/c; JNK1
FOXP3 is an X-linked tumor suppressor gene and a master regulator in T regulatory cell function. This gene has been found to be mutated frequently in breast and prostate cancers and to inhibit tumor cell growth, but its functional significance in DNA repair has not been studied. We found that FOXP3 silencing stimulates homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair and also repair of γ-irradiation-induced DNA damage. Expression profiling and chromatin-immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that FOXP3 regulated the BRCA1-mediated DNA repair program. Among 48 FOXP3-regulated DNA repair genes, BRCA1 and 12 others were direct targets of FOXP3 transcriptional control. Site-specific interaction of FOXP3 with the BRCA1 promoter repressed its transcription. Somatic FOXP3 mutants identified in breast cancer samples had reduced BRCA1 repressor activity, while FOXP3 silencing and knock-in of a prostate cancer-derived somatic FOXP3 mutant increased the radioresistance of cancer cells. Together our findings provide a missing link between FOXP3 function and DNA repair programs.
Steroidogenic factor 1 (NR5A1/SF1) is a well-known master regulator in controlling adrenal and sexual development, as well as regulating numerous genes involved in adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis. Several studies including ours have demonstrated that NR5A1 can be SUMOylated on lysine 194 (K194, the major site) and lysine 119 (K119, the minor site), and the cycle of SUMOylation regulates NR5A1’s transcriptional activity. An extended consensus negatively charged amino acid-dependent SUMOylation motif (NDSM) enhances the specificity of substrate modification by SUMO has been reported; however, the mechanism of NDSM for NR5A1 remains to be clarified. In this study, we investigated the functional significance of the acidic residue located downstream from the core consensus SUMO site of NR5A1. Here we report that E199A (glutamic acid was replaced with alanine) of NR5A1 reduced, but not completely abolished, its SUMOylation level. We next characterized the functional role of NR5A1 E199A on target gene expression and protein levels. We found that E199A alone, as well as combination with K194R, increased Mc2r and Cyp19a1 reporter activities. Moreover, E199A alone as well as combination with K194R enhanced NR5A1-mediated STAR protein levels in mouse adrenocortical cancer Y1 cells. We also observed that E199A increased interaction of NR5A1 with CDK7 and SRC1. Overall, we provide the evidence that the acidic residue (E199) located downstream from the core consensus SUMO site of NR5A1 is, at least in part, required for SUMOylation of NR5A1 and for its mediated target gene and protein expression.
NR5A1/SF1; SUMOylation; transcriptional activity; NDSM
A series of trans-3-aryl acrylic acids 1–27 and their derivatives 28–34 were prepared and evaluated for their antiviral activity against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) for the first time. The bioassay results showed that most of these compounds exhibited good antiviral activity against TMV, of which compounds 1, 5, 6, 20, 27 and 34 exhibited significantly higher activity against TMV than commercial Ribavirin both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, these compounds have more simple structure than commercial Ribavirin, and can be synthesized more efficiently. These new findings demonstrate that trans-3-aryl acrylic acids and their derivatives represent a new template for antiviral studies and could be considered for novel therapy against plant virus infection.
A series of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids 1–24 were prepared and first evaluated for their antiviral activity against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). The bioassay results showed that most of these compounds exhibited good to excellent in vivo anti-TMV activity, of which compounds 1, 2, 15 and 16 displayed significantly higher activity than (R)-antofine and commercial Ningnanmycin at the same test condition. The substituents on the phenanthrene moiety play an important role for maintaining high in vivo antiviral activity. The introduction of 6-hydroxyl, which is proposed to interact with TMV RNA, did increased anti-TMV activity. The 14aR-configuration was confirmed to be the preferred antiviral configuration for phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids. Introduction of hydroxy group at 15-position of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids increased activity for S-configuration but decreased activity for R-configuration. Present study provides fundamental support for development and optimization of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids as potential inhibitors of plant virus.
Both H4K16 acetylation and H3K4 tri-methylation are required for gene activation. However, it is still largely unclear how these modifications are orchestrated by transcriptional factors. Here we analyzed the mechanism of the transcriptional activation by FOXP3, an X-linked suppressor of autoimmune diseases and cancers. FOXP3 binds near transcriptional start sites of its target genes. By recruiting MOF and displacing histone H3K4 demethylase PLU-1, FOXP3 increases both H4K16 acetylation and H3K4 tri-methylation at the FOXP3-associated chromatins of multiple FOXP3-activated genes. RNAi-mediated silencing of MOF reduced both gene activation and tumor suppression by FOXP3, while both somatic mutations in clinical cancer samples and targeted mutation of FOXP3 in mouse prostate epithelial disrupted nuclear localization of MOF. Our data demonstrate a pull-push model in which a single transcription factor orchestrates two epigenetic alterations necessary for gene activation and provide a mechanism for somatic inactivation of the FOXP3 protein function in cancer cells.
A large number of risk alleles have been identified for multiple sclerosis (MS). However, how genetic variations may affect pathogenesis remains largely unknown for most risk alleles. Through direct sequencing of CD24 promoter region, we identified a cluster of 7 new single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CD24 promoter. A hypermorphic haplotype consisting of 3 SNPs was identified through association studies consisting of 935 control and 764 MS patients (P=0.001, odds ratio 1.3). The variant is also associated with more rapid progression of MS (P=0.016, log rank test). In cells that are heterozygous for the risk allele, chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that risk allele specifically bind to a transcription factor SP1, which is selectively required for the hypermorphic promoter activity of the variant. In MS patients, the CD24 transcript levels associate with the SP1-binding variant in a dose-dependent manner (P=7x10-4). Our data revealed a potential role for SP1-mediated transcriptional regulation in MS pathogenesis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS); SP-binding CD24; promoter; risk alleles; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)
Defective expression of LATS2, a negative regulator of YAP onco-protein, has been reported in cancer of prostate, breast, liver, brain and blood origins. However, no transcriptional regulators for the LATS2 gene have been identified. Defective expression of LATS2, a negative regulator of YAP oncoprotein, has been reported in prostate, breast, liver, brain and blood cancers. However, the basis for LATS2 dysregulation in cancer is undefined. Here we report that spontaneous mutation of the transcription factor FOXP3 reduces expression of the LATS2 gene in mammary epithelial cells. shRNA-mediated silencing of FOXP3 in normal or malignant mammary epithelial cells of mouse and human origin repressed LATS2 expression and increased YAP protein levels. LATS2 induction required binding of FOXP3 to a specific sequence in the LATS2 promoter, and this interaction contributed to FOXP3-mediated growth inhibition of tumor cells. In support of these results, reduced expression and somatic mutations of FOXP3 correlated strongly with defective LATS2 expression in microdissected prostate cancer tissues. Thus, defective expression of LATS2 is attributable to FOXP3 defects and may be a major independent determinant of YAP protein elevation in cancer. Our findings identify a novel mechanism of LATS2 downregulation in cancer and reveal an important tumor suppressor relay between the FOXP3 and HIPPO pathways which are widely implicated in human cancer.
prostate cancer; breast cancer; Hippo pathway; FoxP3; tumor suppressor genes
Unlike autosomal genes, the majority of X-linked genes are subject to dosage compensation. As a result, female tissues are comprised of cells exclusively expressing X-linked genes from one or the other parent. The implication of having only one allele of active X-linked genes in cancer pathogenesis, i.e. somatic single-hit inactivation and dominant inheritance has not been explored extensively. Recent studies identified FOXP3 and WTX as two X-linked tumor suppressor genes that are somatically inactivated by single genetic hits. Because the predicted dominant inheritance of cancer risk has not been demonstrated in human, we discuss possible conditions that might prevent such dominant inheritance. We also argue that the existence of a genetically intact allele in cancer cells in women, together with apparent abnormal X-inactivation in cancer cells, might provide an opportunity to selectively reactivate tumor suppressor genes for cancer therapy.
The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of colloid and crystalloid preload on cardiac output (CO) and incidence of hypotension in elderly patients under spinal anesthesia (SA). A randomized, double-blinded study was conducted including 47 elderly patients undergoing scheduled total hip replacement (THR), who were randomized to three groups: the control group (C group, n = 15), crystalloid (RS group, n =16) and colloid group (HES group, n = 16). An intravenous preload of 8 mL/kg of either lactated Ringer's solution in the RS group or 6% hydroxyethyl starch in the HES group was infused within 20 min before SA induction, while no intravenous preload was given in the C group. There was a trend of decrease in CO and systolic blood pressure after SA with time in the C group. In the RS and HES groups, CO increased significantly after fluid preloading as compared with baseline (P < 0.01). Thereafter, CO remained higher than baseline until 30 min after SA in the HES group. The change of systolic blood pressure was similar to CO, but no significant difference from baseline was observed in each group. Hypotension occurred in 3 patients in the C group and one each in the RS and HES group, respectively (P = 0.362). Intravascular volume preload with colloid is more effective than crystalloid solution in maintaining CO, which may be improved the hemodynamic stability in elderly patients during SA.
anesthesia; spinal; cardiac output; aged; arthroplasty; replacement; hip
Despite clear epidemiological and genetic evidence for X-linked prostate cancer risk, all prostate cancer genes identified are autosomal. Here we report somatic inactivating mutations and deletion of the X-linked FOXP3 gene residing at Xp11.23 in human prostate cancer. Lineage-specific ablation of FoxP3 in the mouse prostate epithelial cells leads to prostate hyperplasia and prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. In both normal and malignant prostate tissues, FOXP3 is both necessary and sufficient to transcriptionally repress cMYC, the most commonly over-expressed oncogene in prostate cancer as well as among the aggregates of other cancers. FOXP3 is an X-linked prostate tumor suppressor in the male. Since the male has only one X chromosome, our data represents a paradigm of “single-genetic-hit” inactivation-mediated carcinogenesis.
p21-loss has been implicated in conferring oncogenic activity to known tumor suppressor gene KLF4 and cancer drug tamoxifen. Regulators of p21 therefore play critical roles in tumorigenesis. Here we report that X-linked tumor suppressor FOXP3 is essential for p21 expression in normal epithelia and that lack of FOXP3 associated with p21 down-regulation in breast cancer samples. A specific FOXP3 binding site in the intron 1 is essential for p21 induction by FOXP3. FOXP3 specifically inhibited binding of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 2 and 4 to the site and increased local histone H3 acetylation. ShRNA silencing of either HDAC2 or HDAC4 is sufficient to induce p21 expression. Our data provides a novel mechanism for transcriptional activation by FOXP3 and a genetic mechanism for lack of p21 in a large proportion of breast cancer.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) represses cell cycle progression by directly phosphorylating cyclin D1 and indirectly regulating cyclin D1 transcription by inhibiting Wnt signaling. Recently, we reported that the Epm2a-encoded laforin is a GSK-3β phosphatase and a tumor suppressor. The cellular mechanism for its tumor suppression remains unknown. Using ex vivo thymocytes and primary embryonic fibroblasts from Epm2a−/− mice, we show here a general function of laforin in the cell cycle regulation and repression of cyclin D1 expression. Moreover, targeted mutation of Epm2a increased the phosphorylation of Ser9 on GSK-3β while having no effect on the phosphorylation of Ser21 on GSK-3α. In the GSK-3β+/+ but not the GSK-3β−/− cells, Epm2a small interfering RNA significantly enhanced cell growth. Consistent with an increased level of cyclin D1, the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and the levels of Rb-E2F-regulated genes cyclin A, cyclin E, MCM3, and PCNA are also elevated. Inhibitors of GSK-3β selectively increased the cell growth of Epm2a+/+ but not of Epm2a−/− cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that laforin is a selective phosphatase for GSK-3β and regulates cell cycle progression by GSK-3β-dependent mechanisms. These data provide a cellular basis for the tumor suppression activity of laforin.
Dogma that the Treg prevents catastrophic autoimmunity throughout the lifespan relies on the assumption that the FoxP3 locus is transcribed exclusively in Treg. To test the assumption, we used the Rag2−/− and the Rag2−/− mice with the Scurfy mutation (FoxP3sf/y or FoxP3sf/sf) to evaluate FoxP3 expression outside of lymphoid system. Immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR revealed FoxP3 expression in breast epithelial cells, lung respiratory epithelial cells and in prostate secretory epithelial cells, although not in liver, heart and intestine. The specificity of the assays is confirmed as the signals were ablated by the Scurfy mutation of the FoxP3 gene. Using mice with green fluorescence protein (GFP) open-reading frame knocked into the 3′ untranslated region of the FoxP3 locus, we showed that the locus is transcribed broadly in epithelial cells of multiple organs. These results refute an essential underlying assumption of the dogma and question the specificity of FoxP3-based Treg depletion.